How to Setup a Pharmaceutical Company in Dubai?

by Zaara 01, Oct 2021

The desert region, located at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula, has been turned into a one-stop destination for business freaks. In all the potential business areas the world can think of, the UAE has extended itself. It has all been protected by business consultancies, IT, real estate, gold.

The UAE healthcare sector is expected to boom and meet the challenges that are supposed to be tackled in Vision 2021, as per the study published by the U.S.-U.A.E Business Council 2018. It is expected to be a 101.94 billion AED business by the end of 2025. If you're thinking of setting up a company in the UAE, related to healthcare, then this article is for you.

All over the world, healthcare is a booming business. People lead a busy lifestyle in the UAE, one of the fastest rising economies. One-third of adults in Dubai is unhealthy, and one out of five people live with diabetes, as per the study conducted by the WHO. It is, therefore, a big priority for the Dubai government to provide top-class healthcare facilities and, as a result, the industry has strengthened and expanded dramatically over the past few years.


By offering world-class healthcare facilities and infrastructure, the UAE government is working to drive medical tourists to the UAE. The nation has vital transport and well-built logistics and is strategically positioned to be the hub of a transport network linking individuals from different countries. These factors make the country an attractive option for setting up a medical equipment company, in addition to its innovation-driven approach to the healthcare industry.

In addition to people's lifestyle changes, the number of health conditions has increased to a great degree. At any available opportunity, scientists and researchers are discovering new diseases, and drugs are being developed for related disorders at the same time. In recent years, the medical industry has used millions of alien beliefs in modern science. It turns out to be a well-established fact that Dubai is known as a consumer market.

However, regardless of the size and form of an enterprise, the region embraces distinct market sectors. It turns out to be a central point for all potential business fields, ranging from trading, tourism to the media industry. Yeah, Dubai is also considered by the medical industry to be the right forum. If you have an idea about starting a healthcare-related company in Dubai, then you have come to the right spot.

Healthcare Industry in the UAE

The healthcare sector is one of the flourishing sectors in the region, as described above. Let's understand the origins of the region's domination of this industry. At present, three medical cities are located in the UAE, namely:

  1. Sheikh Khalifa Medical City
  2. Dubai Healthcare City
  3. Sharjah Healthcare City

The government has also taken the initiative, in addition to the cities mentioned above, to launch an online portal called 'Smart Patient' that allows patients to view their upcoming appointments. The National Vision 2021 concentrates on reducing the incidence of diabetes, obesity, smoking and reducing the number of deaths from serious diseases such as cancer and cancer. Besides this, the pharmaceutical industry is also boosted by the business.

Pharmaceutical Centers in the UAE

Several areas of the UAE are considered to be the nucleus of the pharmaceutical industry at present, including:

1. Dubai Healthcare City

DHC was inaugurated in 2002 by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, considered to be the international alternative for quality healthcare and a Centre for clinical excellence. The Centre is made up of different pharmaceutical firms, such as Abbott, Eli Lilly, J&J, Novartis, etc.

2. Dubai Science Park

DSP has been part of the TECOM Network since 2005 and is a science-focused organisation dedicated to start-ups, founders and SMEs in the pharmaceutical and medical industries.

3. Jebel Ali Free Zone

JAFZA has extended its operational scope in the MENA region as one of the main contributors to the UAE economy. To contribute to the pharmaceutical sector, JAFZA has taken a step forward and is responsible for 30 per cent of Dubai's trade volume.

Dubai Health Strategy: Vision 2021-A Move towards Healthy living

In 2016, Sheikh Mohammed took the initiative to launch the Dubai Health Strategy 2021, which consists of 4 main approaches, six goals, 15 programmes and 93 industries, to improve the lifestyle of UAE residents.

The Four Techniques include:

  • Lifestyle and Wellbeing
  • Excellence in service provision
  • Smart Healthcare
  • Governance

The Six Goals include:

  • Ensuring the residents in Dubai have a safe and stable atmosphere
  • A robust and interconnected, high-quality health care system
  • Blending engineering and technology with medical science
  • Leveraging productivity in healthcare delivery
  • Creating an interactive Smart Government database
  • Collaborating with the public and private companies and creating an integrated health care ecological system

Why Start Healthcare Business in the UAE?

In the medical and pharmaceutical industries, the UAE has expanded significantly. For business entrepreneurs as well as for existing firms, it is a well-suited destination to start or grow their business. Some of the factors that make this area a desirable alternative are:

  • The UAE offers numerous options for starting a company, such as Mainland, Free Zone and Offshore.
  • The UAE government has taken various measures to uplift the medical industry.
  • Presence of unique hubs for pharmaceuticals
  • A backdoor for neighbouring countries to join
  • The robust infrastructure of transport and networks that simplifies business operations
  • Each Emirate has taken the initiatives needed.
  • Opportunity to partner with MNCs in the same segment
  • Usage in the medical sector of the new technologies
  • The biggest centre that manages diagnostic equipment
  • The UAE has formed a relationship with medical equipment companies in the United States.

Procedure for Establishing a Healthcare Business in Dubai

The following measures should be taken to start a healthcare company in Dubai.

1. Select the Business Structure

The very first step is to settle on the structure of the company. You will have several choices in Dubai to pick the right business structure that fits your business needs. It is essential to select a corporate network based on the number of shareholders as well as the resources to be invested at the initial stage.

2. Reserve the Trade Name of the Company

You need to establish a trading name for your business on the second level. It is to be remembered that and should be specific, and the title should not be offensive. Once the company name is determined, the approvals are obtained from the Dubai Government Authorities.

3. Select a Strategic Position

The position serves to be one of the essential factors in the success of the business. Setting up a company where the target customer is not present would lead to loss; on the other hand, it would allow you to generate massive revenue by choosing the right spot. Dubai also has unique areas such as Mainland, Free Zones and Offshore that follow specific guidelines on the incorporation of companies.

4. Apply for the DED Approval

The next step is to recognise the shareholders and your company's general manager. Application forms will be sent to the Dubai Department of Economic Development, along with their passports and shareholders' legal papers.

5. Apply for DHA Approval

You need to contact the Department of Health Authority (DHA) of Dubai to obtain permission to carry out the business operation concurrently with the submission of the DED application. They will dive deep and identify the business practises that the company will carry out, and will authorise them after scrutiny.

6. Proposal of Related Documents

One of the necessary things to do is to draw up relevant documents, such as the Memorandum and the Articles of Association, which provide suitable business activities material. These documents are required to be submitted to the government authorities to receive the licences and approvals required.

7. Obtain DED Final Approval

Once the incorporation documents comply with the other rules and regulations, the DED will issue final approval, after which the licences are provided to you.

8. Obtain the Requisite Licences

The last move after approval is to grant a claim for the business activities to be carried out. You need to obtain a request for a clinic in Dubai if you are planning to start a clinic. Once the appropriate licences are acquired based on the business operations, you will be able to perform the business operations legally.

Advantages of Establishing a Healthcare Business in Dubai

1. Healthcare Tourism

When it comes to medical tourism, Dubai's position has become an easy choice. Medical tourism has been steadily attracting international investors year after year, to a large extent.

2. Full ownership

You will be able to acquire full control of the company's share by starting the healthcare sector in Dubai. In any event, you will take back the entire amount invested and income gained if you need to opt for company liquidation.

3. No Corporate Tax

The corporate tax exemption for almost fifty years, which sounds burden-free, is one of the eye-catching factors motivating investors to invest in the Dubai healthcare industry.

4. No Customs

You will get relief from the customs duty that needs to be paid by entering a healthcare company in Dubai.

5. Strategic Location

Dubai provides investors with several options about location. Options such as Mainland, Free Zone and Offshore are positioned to meet the needs of the organisation appropriately. Also, to increase the number of investors, Dubai Healthcare City (DHC) appears to be a dedicated free zone for healthcare businesses.

6. Multiple Collaboration

When it comes to business sectors dealing in every domain, the location of Dubai has no stoppage. Therefore, it turns out to be easy for the healthcare sector to work with other firms.

Why do Consultants provide Incorporation Services?

The following are only a few reasons why company owners tend to outsource integration services to experienced experts:

  • Experts allow you to work with legal procedures quickly.
  • The process performed in a hassle-free manner.
  • Speedier phase execution
  • The analysis is carried out in-depth.
  • It is possible to consider business insights in a more comfortable way.

Dubai's business domain is an open ground for all possible business sectors. If you have an idea to set up your medical business in Dubai, then this is the best time to act on it. Starting a UAE health care business turns out to be an easy process if you have a helping hand next to you. In addition to fastening the integration process, being in collaboration with business experts will help you to carry out the complete process in a trouble-free manner.

Commitbiz Consultants works as a leading consultant dedicated to supplying dedicated customers with the best business integration services. Our industry professionals take the utmost care to deliver the best services that meet their business needs. Contact us to have a word with our experts — we will be happy to help.


How much it will cost to start a pharmacy in Dubai?

It depends on the location, scale of your business etc. It generally may vary anywhere between AED 40000 to AED 75000.

What approvals do I need to get to start a pharmaceutical business in Dubai?

You need to get initial preliminary approval and approval from the relevant authorities like the Health Regulation Department, Ministry of Health etc.

How long is my pharmaceutical company license valid?

It is valid for 1 year and then needs to be renewed.

Who can apply for a DHA license?

Doctors, Dentists, midwives/nurses etc.

Which freezone is suitable for pharmacy business in Dubai?

Dubai healthcare city.