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How to Start a Healthcare Business in Dubai?

Healthcare Business
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It’s no secret that the healthcare business sector is growing worldwide. As the Baby Boomer population ages, the demand for healthcare in the United Arab Emirates and the GCC region is expected to continue to grow rapidly.

Starting a Healthcare Business

There is no standard formula for starting a healthcare business in Dubai. It might be worth your while to hire a professional consultant who has started healthcare businesses before and is aware of the potential pitfalls. After all, the details of starting up will vary from speciality to speciality, and some laws and regulations might differ between jurisdictions. Mistakes can lead to costly delays!

While you have a variety of option of where to start your healthcare business, we will focus on Dubai Healthcare City Free Zone and a local license via the Department of Economic Development (DED). These two jurisdictions are the most popular for new healthcare businesses.

In case you are interested: How to Start a Pharmacy Business in Dubai?

Dubai Healthcare City

Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) was started in 2002 to meet the demand for high-quality, patient-centred healthcare. DHCC aspires to provide world-class care for UAE resident and make Dubai into a hub for medical tourism.

The world’s largest healthcare free zone has two phases. Phase 1, dedicated to healthcare and medical education, occupies 4.1 million square feet in the Oud Metha area, and Phase 2 (currently under development), dedicated to wellness, occupies 22 million square feet in Al Jadaf.

DHCC has close to 160 clinical partners including hospitals, outpatient medical centres and diagnostic laboratories across 150 plus specialities.

According to DHCC, the most popular procedures sought by medical tourists to DHCC include infertility, cosmetic and dental treatments. Most medical tourists came to the DHCC from the GCC (37%) and the wider Arab world (25%).

The first step is to reserve your site (lease or buy). The exact size and type of unit required will depend on the scope of your business; the minimum size available is around AED 185 per sq ft.

Businesses in the DHCC must comply with Medical Liability Regulation, Health Data Protection Regulation and others which makes the regulatory process a bit more cumbersome then starting a business in other sectors. There are specific requirements to start healthcare depending on the speciality; you can find details at the following link.

You are free to start offering your services, once you have met the legal requirements and your facility is approved.

Local license via the Department of Economic Development (DED) License

Incorporating your healthcare business via DED allows you to locate your business anywhere in the Emirate of Dubai.  You can build a healthcare business in an area with low leasing costs or in proximity to where your target demographic resides.

Depending on the precise speciality of your business, you will incorporate an LLC which will require a minimum 51% Emirati shareholder. If you are setting up a branch of an existing foreign company, an Emirati Service Agent will be required. A consultant can help you acquire local contacts.

You will need the approval to carry out your business from the Dubai Health Authority (DHA). The DHA approval process will vary on the nature of the healthcare business. However, they will look for feasibility studies and proof of expertise within the field. Once you obtain approval from the DHA and DED, you can commence your healthcare business.

Gilbert Sakr

Do you need help in business setup or looking to start a business in Dubai? Here you will find all the information and business ideas you need for starting your own company in Dubai.

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