Due to the global pandemic, the healthcare industry is quickly developing around the world. In fact, it is now one of the fastest-growing segments in the retail industry. This sector is immense, with a wide array of different industries available to potential investors. It’s also an extremely popular medical tourism destination that offers numerous opportunities for pharmaceutical trading. Between the expanding market and the expansive selection of business activities, Dubai is the perfect region to setup your new pharmaceutical company.
There are many reasons a pharmaceutical-based business in Dubai can be a lucrative endeavor. In this region, you’re exposed to a large medical community and a skilled workforce. Additionally, several international pharmaceutical companies have branches located in Dubai, offering a unique selection of trusted names if you hope to open a branch of a larger corporation.
Pharmaceutical business setup in Dubai requires a thorough understanding of the Ministry of Health’s requirements and protocols. This includes securing a pharmacy license that gives you the ability to import, produce, and sell pharmaceutical drugs.
Mainland and Free Zones: What’s the Difference?
For companies operating in the UAE, there are two major jurisdictions: Mainland and Free Zones. These sectors both feature a distinct set of differences, and businesses will need to have a thorough understanding of them to develop a smart business strategy.
Companies located in the mainland have the ability to trade and provide services anywhere in the UAE and even internationally.
2. Free Zones
Free zones are special economic zones developed to improve the UAE economy by offering lucrative business and tax incentives to potential investors. Companies located in this jurisdiction are not permitted to sell products or services outside the region.
Documents Required for Pharmaceutical Business License Application
If you intend to form a new pharmaceutical business, you will want to take special care to gather all the necessary documents to complete the application. Failure to do so can result in delays in the process and even outright rejection. These documents include:
• A completed application form
• Blueprints for your pharmaceutical location
• A copy of your tenancy contract
• Trade Name Reservation from the DED
• Preliminary approval
• A copy of your location license
• A copy of the owner’s passport
• A list of employees and their certifications
• A copy of your pharmaceutical license
Setting up a Pharmaceutical Business in Dubai’s Mainland
The procedure for securing your pharmaceutical business license is a two-step process. The initial step, or first approval, and a second, final approval. It’s mandatory to hold both authorizations to be fully licensed.
1. First Approval Procedure
• Send your application to the health regulation department
• Obtain permission from the municipality for commercial use of your property.
• Your submitted documents will be reviewed by the HRD, followed by your initial approval letter within 10-15 working days.
2. Final Approval Procedure
• Set up of pharmacy interior as determined by your DHA approved layout
• Approval from the Medical Director
• Final inspection report and DHA approval
Upon completing this process and after a thorough examination to ensure you’ve met all the guidelines, your DHA pharmacy license will be issued in 15-20 working days. This license will need to be renewed annually.
Things to Consider Before Starting Your Pharmaceutical Business
Before you gather your documents and submit your application, there are a few things you’ll need to research first. These include:
The location of your pharmacy is crucial as it will determine your income and clientele. You will need to perform thorough research on similar pharmacies in your chosen area to determine the market you’re entering.
Extensive research on your competitors will give you a comprehensive grasp of the goods and products they offer and their client base.
• Size and Oversight
It’s vital to ensure that your pharmacy meets the minimum size requirements. Additionally, the pharmacy will need to be managed by a licensed pharmacist who is present at all times.
Frequently Asked Questions
When obtaining your pharmaceutical business license, it’s no surprise that a few questions may pop up. Below, we’ve gathered a few of our most frequently asked questions.
1. How much does it cost to open a pharmaceutical business in Dubai?
Before costs can be calculated, you’ll need to meet a number of pre-requisites. The first will be your pharmacist certification. Once you’ve secured that, you’ll need a prescription license number and a business license. The expenses will also vary based on location, your chosen business activity, and which jurisdiction you choose.
2. What is the timeframe for establishing a pharmacy?
Before opening your pharmacy, the two stages of the registration process will need to be completed. These stages can take anywhere between 10-20 working days each to complete. Roughly, you can estimate that it will take approximately a month to complete the entire process.
3. How are pharma franchise distributors attracted?
Most distributors are found via digital marketing, dedicated medical representatives, blogs, social media, and references.
4. How can I open a pharmaceutical business in Dubai?
Pharmaceutical business setup in Dubai’s mainland can be completed quickly and efficiently with the help of a third-party advisor, like MSZ Consultancy. We have a solid understanding of the business market and can help streamline the application process to get you up and running faster.
5. What’s the advantage of setting up a pharmacy business in Dubai’s Healthcare City?
Dubai’s Healthcare City is one of the many free zones located in the UAE. Unlike mainland-based businesses, companies operating in free zones enjoy a host of advantages like:
• No taxes
• 100% foreign ownership with no local sponsor necessary
• 100% repatriation of profits
• Streamlined application process
• Access to impressive medical services
• The opportunity to collaborate with other medical experts.
• Enhanced brand awareness
Call MSZ Consultancy at +971 52 544 1248 and let our experts help supercharge your business!