Dubai is becoming an important medical hub and is currently heavily investing in the promotion of medical tourism. This leads to several business opportunities in the field but also great competition to establish a successful activity in the market.
Starting a Medical Business in Dubai can be straightforward. In Dubai, if individuals want to setup a medical practice, they will need to obtain a professional license by the Department of Economic Development (DED), which is responsible of planning and the commercial sector regulation; this includes licensing and classification to issuing trade permits for marketing activities for all businesses outside the free zones, as Law No. 13 of 2011 states.
Dubai’s status as an emerging market in health care and medical practice has shown the emirate to be an ideal place for entrepreneurship with its tax-free nature and the 100% Foreign Ownership incentive.
Company formation is also possible in the Dubai Health Care City (DHCC), a specialized free trade zone where investors can have plenty of opportunities to grow their business thanks to a series of benefits.
According to the official website, “Dubai Healthcare City is an urban healthcare landmark where individuals and corporations come to advance their healthcare services, engage with the community and enjoy the energy of the central healthcare districts.”
In order to establish a center in the DHCC, investors need to work with the Dubai Creative Clusters Authority for all registration requirements. The process changes depending on the type of business to be established (General Hospital, Rehab center, Specialty Clinic, Long Term Care facility…) and whether it is an individual or a company requesting the permit and whether the investor is trying to setup up a free zone Limited Liability Company (FZ-LLC) or a branch.
In general the first step is always the request for a license to be followed by a series of legal requirements including RIC forms, personnel sponsorship agreements and board resolutions.
Those who are thinking about establishing their business in the DHCC will be in good company as some renowned healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies are already operating in the Middle East through offices in the free zone, including Johnson & Johnson, Merck Serono and Sanofi Aventis.