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Healthcare & Medical UAE: Dubai and the Northern Emirates

    Sector Report

    Healthcare & Medical

    Dubai, UAE

Produced by: rdVictoria Cox, 3 Secretary, and Ranjana Abraham, Trade Officer, Dubai, UAE

    Last revised: July 2009

     Whereas every effort has been made to ensure that the information given in this document is accurate, neither UK Trade & Investment nor its parent Departments (the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (“BIS”) and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office), accept liability for any errors, omissions or misleading statements, and no warranty is given or responsibility accepted as to the standing of any individual, firm, company or other organisation mentioned. Published July 2009 by UK Trade & Investment. Crown Copyright ?

    Healthcare & Medical UAE: Dubai

    Table of Contents





    EVENTS 6

    CONTACT LISTS 8 Page 2 of 8

Healthcare & Medical UAE: Dubai


    The private sector dominates the healthcare related services market in Dubai, with around 20 hospitals, 20 dental laboratories, 226 optical shops, 387 pharmacies and 62 drugstores. Apart from these there are numerous medical distributor companies who cater to both the public and the private sector. The major players among these are City Pharmacy, Modern Pharmaceutical Company and Gulf Drug Establishment.

    The healthcare sector is heavily reliant on foreign labour with more than 95% being foreign expatriates.

    Healthcare sector in Dubai and the Northern Emirates is currently undergoing trough a series of reforms, in line with the government strategy to create a globally recognised centre of health care excellence in Dubai. Dubai‟s healthcare system is

    being replaced with a new network, the Dubai Health Authority. The transition will be completed in 2012.

    In the Dubai Strategic plan 2015, unveiled by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, healthcare sector was flagged for significant growth. The main focus of the plan is on developing organisational and legislative frameworks based on international best practices in both the private and public sector to boost the position of Dubai as a hub of medical tourism.

    This includes using state of the art technology and qualified and experienced human resources, international accreditation of hospitals, tightening up the licensing of clinical staff, establishing a strong partnership with international health agencies and establishments, and compliance with internationally established quality criteria.

    Dubai Health Authority is relying on the private sector as its strategic partner. Dubai Health Care City (DHCC) is a $1.8bn development that will act as a hub for quality healthcare and an integrated center of excellence for clinical & wellness services, and medical education & research.

    A report by Ithmar Capital stresses on the importance of the involvement of the private sector due to increasing demands. (Title of the report: „‟Expand,

    Consolidate and Support: Meeting the GCC Healthcare Challenge 2050) The report says that UAE needs 15,698 new beds and physicians along with 31,396 additional nurses. The report also underlines the fact that the requirement for healthcare provision will remain undiminished in the face of unprecedented financial turmoil.

    Dubai is also looking towards independence in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals production and research. With this end in mind the government began construction of a research centre called Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park (DuBiotech) in 2008. Dubiotech will encompass 2.79m sq metres of research facilities dedicated to life sciences and medical research. It will offer three types of premises: labs, offices and warehousing facilities. So far 55 companies have signed up with DuBiotech to set up their activities in the Park.


    UAE public health care sector is going through a major expansion. New hospitals, clinics, laboratories, cardiac and dental centres, and nursing schools are to be built in Dubai and the Northern Emirates at an estimated cost of over Dh2bn (?276m). Page 3 of 8

Healthcare & Medical UAE: Dubai

    The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) is planning to build a multi-billion dirham hospital at Jebel Ali, Dubai, called the Al Maktoum Hospital. The proposed project will have an emergency and trauma centre. It is planned as a 300-bed hospital with an outpatient department and other facilities. They are also building The Al Jalila Children‟s Speciality Hospital, state of the art 200 bed teaching and research

    hospital that will provide tertiary and quaternary specialised paediatric health services. In addition, three primary health clinics will be added to DHA's umbrella in the nearest future.

    The private sector is also growing outside the confines of the DHCC site. The establishment of new facilities and the renovation of existing private hospitals is expected to add 1460 acute beds by 2010-11. Emaar Healthcare Group, Emaar Properties' AED 18.35 billion (US$5 billion) healthcare initiative, is set to develop and manage over 100 hospitals, clinics and medical centres in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the Indian Subcontinent and South East Asia in the next ten years.

According to the BMI research, the UAE‟s medical devices accounted for 6.5% of

    total health expenditure in 2008. The Ministry of Health is looking to increase the level of provision of medical care at home for the elderly and bed-ridden residents. This will lead to growing need for mobile medical devices.

    Many UAE hospitals are now looking to minimise their capital investment by leasing medical equipment and outsource their diagnostic services.

    Opportunities exist for mobile medical units companies, new technology and high tech medical equipment manufacturers, hospital management firms, health insurance firms, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare consultants, healthcare recruitment firms, e-health and IT solution providers, complementary and alternative medicine suppliers, fitness related products manufacturers.

UKTI publishes international business opportunities gathered by our network of

    British Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates worldwide. These

    opportunities appear in the Opportunities portlet on the relevant sector and country pages on the UKTI website. By setting up a profile you can be alerted by email when relevant new opportunities are published. New or updated alert profiles can

    be set in My Account on the website.


    Report by Dubai Chamber forecasts that healthcare sector to reach USD 11.9bn by 2015. UAE citizens represent 15% of the population of the country. The Ministry of Health and DHA statistics report that non communicable diseases are now the major contributor of deaths in the UAE, most notably cardio vascular diseases (CVDs), which account for 28% of all deaths. More than a quarter of UAE citizens

    now suffer from diabetes according to a study by WHO and some 40% of those aged over 60 have the disease.

    Some sources say that majority of the population are not fitness conscious. The weather is a hindrance, making outdoor activities impossible for a major part of the year. Some health experts argue that more can be done through provision of public exercise areas and preservation of public beaches. The government has launched various public health initiatives particularly through education in schools. More Page 4 of 8

Healthcare & Medical UAE: Dubai

    needs to done to combat obesity, which is the primary cause for most health


    Funding for healthcare

The healthcare system in Dubai is also undergoing changes in terms of its funding

    and introduction of mandatory health insurance. Historically, healthcare systems in

    GCC countries have been characterised by high proportion of public expenditure

    and a dominant role of the government. We have begun to see a transition away

    from the welfare state model to a market driven model. The DHA has rolled out the

    first phase of the new health funding mechanism for Dubai in early 2009. The new

    system will see employers or sponsors bear the major cost of financing for

    expatriates through a mandatory Health Benefit Contribution (HBC) paid into a

    central clearing house under DHA supervision, which will fund the provision of basic

    healthcare, with the option of providing optional „top-up‟ health insurance cover.


Both public and private sector organisations based in Dubai and Northern Emirates

    are required to purchase through local agents, who may also assist in marketing

    and sales. Most of the government entities are procuring via B2B web portal Tejari


Generally, price is the most important factor in promoting sales, although it is

    evident that product quality and after-sales service are also important selling

    factors in the UAE market.

Advertising and participation in sales promotions and trade exhibitions is often

    helpful for raising consumer awareness and gaining market share, but effectiveness

    will vary according to product.

     The UAE has banned all medical related

    advertisements unless there are approved by Ministry of Health (MoH). Anyone

    wishing to advertise health products must obtain advertising licence from the MoH

    at a cost of Dh9000 (?1250) per year. Under the new guidelines, hospitals and

    clinics must obtain MoH licence to run any health-related websites.

    Other background information on doing business in Dubai can be found on UKTI‟s

    website. Simply go to the UAE country page where you will find information on:

    ? Economic background and geography

    ? Customs & regulations

    ? Selling & communications

    ? Contacts & setting up

    ? Visiting and social hints and tips


    Research is critical when considering new markets. UKTI provides market research

    services which can help UK companies doing business overseas including:

    ? Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS). Bespoke research into

    potential markets, contacts and support during your visits overseas.

    ? Export Marketing Research Scheme. Advice on market research and help

    to contact subsidised market research administered by the British Chambers

    of Commerce on behalf of UKTI. Page 5 of 8

    Healthcare & Medical UAE: Dubai

Contact your local International Trade Advisor if you are interested in accessing

    these services, or for general advice in developing your export strategy.


Medical Middle East

    Arab Health

    Healthcare Middle East Middle East Health


    Arab Health

Dubai World Dermatology & Laser Conference & Exhibition

The 5

    th Annual GCC Occupational Health Conference

World Health Care Congress Middle East

Arab Lab Expo

International Medical Care & Diagnostic Conference & Exhibition

Dubai International Anesthesia Conference and Exhibition

Arab Children Health Congress

Dubai International Humanitarian Aid & Re- Development Conference Exhibition

Dubai International Emergency & Catastrophe Conference & Exhibition

Dubai International Pharmaceutical & Technology Conference & Exhibition

Dubai International Forum for Rehabilitation

UAE International Dental Conference and Arab Dental Exhibition

Middle East Update in Otolaryngology Page 6 of 8

    Healthcare & Medical UAE: Dubai

    Women‟s Healthcare Exhibition

Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology Middle East (PABME) UAE

Emergency Congress

Primary HealthCare

    Metabolic Syndrome & Associated Diseases

Annual Global Healthcare Expansion Programme

World Health Care Congress Middle East

Healthcare Travel


    Hospital Build


    International Congress in Aesthetic, anti-aging medicine & medical spa

UK Trade & Investment‟s Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) can help eligible UK

    businesses take part in overseas exhibitions. Attendance at TAP events offers

    significant benefits:

    ? possibilities for business opportunities both at the show and in the future

    ? a chance to assess new markets and develop useful contacts

    ? grants are available if you meet the criteria

    ? UKTI staff overseas will be available to assist delegates

Find out if you are eligible to apply to attend this event, and more about the

    support UKTI can offer, on the UKTI Market Entry web page.

Details of TAP events can be found in the Events portlet on the UAE page.

    Other Market Visit Support may be available via your local International Trade Advisor. Page 7 of 8

    Healthcare & Medical UAE: Dubai CONTACT LISTS

Victoria Cox

    rd3 Secretary (Trade &Investment)

British Embassy

    PO Box 65


    Tel: 00 971 4 3094201

    Fax: 00 971 4 3094302

Ranjana Abraham

Trade & Investment Officer

    British Embassy

    PO Box 65


    Tel: 00 971 4 3094229

    Fax: 00 971 4 3094302

UKTI‟s International Trade Advisers can provide you with essential and impartial

    advice on all aspects of international trade. Every UK region also has dedicated

    sector specialists who can provide advice tailored to your industry. You can trace

    your nearest advisor by entering your postcode into the Local Office Database on

    the homepage of our website.

For new and inexperienced exporters, our Passport to Export process will take you

    through the mechanics of exporting. An International Trade Adviser will provide

    professional advice on a range of services, including financial subsidies, export

    documentation, contacts in overseas markets, overseas visits, translating

    marketing material, e-commerce, subsidised export training and market research. Page 8 of 8

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