UAE has always supported and embraced business investments. It has set up numerous free zones in different emirates to promote trade and commerce, thereby encouraging the entrepreneurs to invest. Healthcare sectors are among the most lucrative industries in the UAE. Investments worth millions of dollars are being made in the sector. Healthcare is among UAE’s newly developed industries. The last few years have seen tremendous growth in the healthcare sector as the number of foreign professionals has risen considerably, including doctors and nurses, moving to the UAE and setting up their own companies. Dubai Healthcare City Free Zone also enabled the development of this industry. Foreign investors interested in starting a business in the healthcare industry in Dubai can do that in the emirate or in Dubai Healthcare City where various incentives are available. Our consultants in Dubai can offer information on the rules and regulations related to the healthcare sector.
As one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE, Dubai is strategically located to tap into a UAE market which boasts an average of US$1,200 in healthcare spending per capita, placing the country in the world’s Top 20. Globally renowned hospitals, outpatient medical centers and diagnostic laboratories such as Johns Hopkins-associated hospital Clemenceau Medical Centre and Moorfield’s London have launched facilities in Dubai to capitalize on the strong projected growth in the healthcare market. Dubai-based healthcare providers can count on the city’s proximity and accessibility to the Middle East and GCC markets as well as Africa and Asia. More than a third of medical tourists come from Asian countries, Arab and GCC countries contribute 31% of the total whereas a significant 15% of patients visit Dubai from Europe.
The World’s Largest Medical Free Zone
With its world-class medical facilities infrastructure and a burgeoning number of public and private healthcare companies providing state-of-the-art service, Dubai is fast becoming a major international hub for the global healthcare industry. It is already home to the world’s largest medical free zone, Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC).
Registering A Business in The Healthcare Industry
The first step to set up a medical practice is to register a company with the Dubai Companies Registrar based on a set of pre-established documents. Our consultants in Dubai can assist with the preparation of these documents. Secondly, one must apply for the necessary licenses to start operating the healthcare company in Dubai. There are two aspects to take into account when starting a business in the Dubai healthcare sector:
- Set up a medical practice which implies obtaining a professional license;
- Register a company that will produce medical equipment or pharmaceutical products which implies obtaining a manufacturing license.
Import and Supply of Medical Equipment in Dubai, UAE
With the aim to improve the healthcare standard of the country and to boost the industry, the UAE government is offering various incentives and also liberalizing its import policies for foreign investors. It is expected that by 2026 the overall medical expense of the country would be 4.6 percent of its GDP. Thus, if you are looking to start a medical equipment import or distribution business, this is the right time to start.
Documents required to Start a Medical Equipment Manufacturing
Before initiating a medical business in UAE, you must make sure that all medical equipment you want to work with is licensed by the UAE Ministry of Health (MOH) Drug Registry and Control Agency. The documents to be provided are:
- Duly filled application form for starting the business. This should be signed and stamped by an authorized person of the company
- Notarized and authorized letter to a local company.
- ISO 13485 certificate. This should be issued by the concerned authority in the country of origin.
- Company profile in detail.
- A list of the products manufactured or assembled by the site
- Manufacturing license issued to the site by the concerned authority in the country of origin. This license should be legal and valid.
Once all the documents are submitted, and they are found to be in order, the Ministry of Health, UAE will provide a registration number which is valid for five years.
Healthcare Regulatory Authorities in Dubai, UAE
The healthcare system in Dubai is highly regulated by the Dubai Healthcare Authority (DHA) who supervise the system, create and implement regulations, design healthcare policies and maintain the governmental health care facilities in the Emirate of Dubai. The core objectives of the DHA are to regulate the medical professionals, hospitals, clinics and other allied healthcare service providers operating in Dubai while supervising their operations to maintain the highest standards. Any individual who is interested in starting medical services or support businesses in Dubai can set up and start their operations.
Applying for A Healthcare Business License in UAE
Foreign investors who want to open companies in the healthcare sector in UAE must pay attention to the qualifications of the personnel providing medical services. The following licenses can be obtained by those practicing a medical profession in UAE:
- a general practice license;
- a physician license;
- a dentist license;
- a nurse license;
- an allied healthcare professional license;
- clinical operating permit.
The licenses listed above are issued by the Dubai Health Authority (if the company operates in Dubai) or by the Dubai Healthcare City Licensing Board if the company operates in the free zone with the same name.
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