Pharmacy License in Dubai

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. 

All over the world, healthcare is a booming business and, in the Emirates, it is expected to be a 101.94 billion AED business by the end of 2025. So, if you are planning for a pharmacy business, do obtain the pharmacy license in Dubai.

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.

Centers for Pharmaceutical Companies in Dubai

If you're thinking of a business setup in Dubai, related to healthcare, then this article is for you. Several areas of the Emirate 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.

Sanofi, One of the Top Pharmaceutical Companies in Dubai

Sanofi began operations in the Gulf in the 1970s and established its first affiliate in 1987 in the UAE. Employing over 500 people, the company offers healthcare and well-being solutions emphasized on diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, oncology, immunology, multiple sclerosis, rare diseases, and vaccines. 

Now the new facility increased the company’s storage capacity by 68 percent. The facility is one of the largest of its kind in the Middle East pharmaceutical industry which was set up in Dubai. 

The move complemented Dubai’s medical supply chain. The distribution center is well equipped with the latest warehousing and cold chain technologies and also facilitates to delivery of more than 22 million packs of medicine every year for patients in six countries.

How to Get Included on the List of Pharmaceutical Companies in Dubai?

The Dubai Health Authority has set in place a comprehensive regulatory system which must be followed by those looking to set up a pharmaceutical company in Dubai.

1. Submit the Application Form

Fill the application form to get the license and submit it to the Health Regulation Department (HRD). The application includes,

  • Submission of the new health facility licensure application form through the HRD e-licensing service
  • The proposed general location with land plot number
  • Schematic Design (SD) showing the proposed floor layouts with each room numbered and labeled and a general cross section of the structure.

After receiving the applicant’s form, the HRD will conduct a detailed review of the submitted material to determine suitability for further processing, after which you will get an initial approval from HRD. 

This letter will be required to complete the pharmacy’s licensing procedures pertaining to issuing of the trade license by local authorities such as the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai or equivalent licensing bodies (i.e., free zones authorities)

In case of rejection of the application, a detailed list of deficiencies will be provided for corrective action and the applicant is required to re-submit the application with applicable fees.

2. Submit the Documents Required 

  • Duly filled application form
  • Preliminary approval for pharmacy premises along with tenancy contract
  • Blueprints of location with certified architectural planning
  • Copy of passport, location license, and pharmaceutical license
  • Certificates and list of all employees in your pharmacy business.

3. Obtain the Pharmacy License

The owner has to submit an online request for final inspection through the e-licensing system of HRD, upon which an onsite pre-optional assessment will be conducted. The owner needs to meet the following requirement to get the license approved:

  • Appoint a pharmacist in-charge to supervise the pharmacy. Remember that a pharmacist’s qualifications must be met according to the requirements provided by DHA
  • Employ a sufficient number of DHA licensed pharmacists and pharmacy technicians
  • Provide suitable infrastructure as per the DHA design requirements and according to the services provided by the pharmacy.

After the onsite assessment and meeting the DHA requirements, the HRD will issue the license. The pharmacy license is valid for one year.

4. Meet the Requirements

The Dubai Health Authority issues a few requirements that you must be aware of while setting up your pharmacy business.

  • The license shall state the name and address of the pharmacy, the DED license number, the period of licensure validity
  • The DHA pharmacy license shall be clearly posted in the facility
  • The pharmacy shall clearly display the hours of operation of the facility as well
  • If you are renting a place for pharmacy business, then the total area should not be less than 30 sq. meters
  • If you are operating in the mainland, a local UAE sponsor is required to get a trade license for your business, apart from the DHA license.

Renewal of Pharmacy License for Your Dubai Medical Store

The renewal procedure of a pharmacy license:

1. An application for renewal must be submitted via e-licensing system called ‘Sheryan’ up to 90 days prior to expiration of the license         

2. The license must conform to all renewal requirements

3. Upon failure of renewing the license shall result in expiration of the current license on its last effective date. And in such case, the pharmacy will end up with financial penalties

4. DHA Pharmacy license will be renewed for a period of one year after fulfilling the HRD requirements for re-licensure assessment

5. If the pharmacy license is not renewed for six months, the license will be considered as null and void.

Commence Your Journey of Becoming One of the Best Pharmacy in Dubai

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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.