Pharmaceutical Company Registration in the UAE

Pharmaceutical Company Registration in the UAE

- Olivia Baikova

Pharmaceutical Company Registration in the UAE

Health and medical industries are booming across the GCC. In particular, the UAE as part of its Vision 2030 initiative is aiming to be the science and medical hub of the Middle East region using its state-of-the-art facilities, advanced infrastructure, and medical hubs to leverage its position in these industries. 

In January 2023, it was reported that there were over 4,500 private health facilities licensed in Dubai alone.

The UAE is also at the forefront of medical and science events. The yearly Arab Health exhibition attracts thousands of healthcare entrepreneurs and professionals from across the globe. It is predicted that Arab Health 2024 will welcome 3,500 exhibitors and over 110,000 healthcare professionals to this year's event. The Arab Health exhibition is just one great example of world-class medical events being hosted in the region.

How to set up a pharmaceutical company in the UAE?

To set up a pharmaceutical company or any medical facility in the UAE you will be required to obtain a UAE trade license with the Department of Economic Development (ADDED)or Department of Economy and Tourism (DET). Pharmaceutical companies may require the approval of the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP). MOHAP is the federal health authority in the UAE.

Where required, approval from the regulatory authority in each Emirate may need to be obtained. For Dubai, it would be the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and in Abu Dhabi, it would be the Department of Health (DOH).

Pharmaceutical Business Activities in the UAE

There are a few pharmaceutical business activities available in the UAE. Depending on the type of activity your business engages in will determine if it is a regulated/non-regulated activity in the UAE.

Below are two examples of business activities in the UAE that are deemed non-regulated provided they meet the set conditions.

1. Medical, Surgical Equipment Trading

      This activity includes reselling instruments and equipment used in hospitals and clinics for diagnosis, treatment, and surgical operations as well as firms being allowed to carry out the installation, repair, and maintenance services for the equipment they deal in.

      This is an example of a business activity in pharmaceuticals that is not regulated by the Department of Economic Development/ Department of Economy and Tourism (DED/DET).

      It would only be considered a regulated activity should the company or business wish to start importing pharmaceuticals/medical goods into the UAE. In this case, as the products have never been registered in the UAE before, the company would have to register itself and the pharmaceutical products with the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) and would therefore become a regulated activity. 

      2.Para Pharmaceutical Products Trading

          This activity includes reselling para-pharmaceutical products not directly used for medication or treatment, including plasters, after-shave lotions, creams, toothpaste, mouth wash and other sterilization products.

          This is also not a regulated business activity. However, if the products have not been registered in the UAE before, the products would need to be registered with the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) but thus would be regulated by MOHAP.

          To get MOHAP approval for this activity, the client must have a warehouse matching the MOHAP requirements to import these products into the UAE. The warehouse facility is in a designated area in Dubai ensuring the proper storage of medical equipment.

          What are the timelines to set up a pharmaceutical company in the UAE?

          Commercial Registration of a pharmaceutical company can take up to 30 days to complete. Our estimate assumes that all required documentation is provided to us promptly and a signatory for the company is available in the UAE.

          How can PPG assist in pharmaceutical company formation?

          PPG can assist with the following for pharmaceutical company formation:

          • Obtaining relevant trade license with accurate business activities
          • Liaising with the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP)
          • Obtaining required regulatory approvals with Dubai Health Authority or Department of Health Abu Dhabi
          • Registering of medical/ pharmaceutical products
          • Finding appropriate warehouse space (if applicable)
          • Visas issuance – staff visas, investor visas, UAE Golden Visas (Entreprenuer or specialised talent categories available for medical professionals)

          If you would like to discuss your requirements for pharmaceutical or medical company formation in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or the wider UAE then please get in touch with us by emailing, call us on +971 (0)4 456 1761 for Dubai or +971 (0)2 448 5120 for Abu Dhabi and we will be delighted to assist you.

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