Pharmacies are among the fastest rising segments in the local retail sector and are at most popular places in malls in Dubai and all over the UAE, both commercial and residential. The majority of this growth is not created by independent operators. The newest pharmacies are one of the wider local or GCC chains or branches of multinational brands with a popular reputation. You can benefit from brand name popularity and connections to a broad supply chain of manufacturers if you decide to establish a franchise pharmacy. Most franchise companies will even assist you to pick a property based on detailed market analysis.
The selling of pharmaceutical goods in the UAE is permitted to both foreigners and locals, providing that they comply with the laws and register with the authorities in control.
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Different Types of Pharmaceutical Businesses in the UAE
Your pharmaceutical-related company may be licensed either as a mainland company or within a free zone. The mainland business would require a UAE citizen’s sponsorship, while free zones can be 100% foreign-owned. However, what is non-negotiable is the licenses you will require. These include:
- permission from the municipality,
- permission from the Ministry of Health and
- permission from the Environment Department.
There are many types of companies that can be formed in order to market pharmaceutical products in the UAE, according to the UAE Ministry of Health. These companies are listed below:
A pharmacy is a store authorized to sell licensed pharmaceuticals and other prescription equipment, but a variety of other goods such as toiletries, cosmetics products and other convenience products typically follow it. In compliance with the rules and regulations of the UAE, a licensed pharmacist must remain inside the pharmacy at all times.
Para Pharmaceutical Trading
This trade is concerned with the types of prescription goods which are not used specifically for the purpose of medicine or internal therapy. Plasters, lotions, perfumes, mouthwash, hand sanitisers and other related items can be included in them.
This solution offers the same sorts of items that can be found in a pharmacy, but it is a wholesaler which delivers its goods to several pharmacies.
Free Zone Companies
Dubai Healthcare City was founded in 2002 and was the first free zone area devoted to health in the world It is situated in old Dubai, covering an incredible 4.1 million square feet, where more than 4000 accredited healthcare practitioners are housed. It is the world’s biggest healthcare free zone and is projected to expand much greater in the next step of its growth to 19 million square feet.
Pharmaceutical Company Registration
The following authorities are responsible for the registration of a pharmaceutical company:
- Operating License from authority (Department of Economic Development)
- ‘Administrator’ Accredited Pharmacist
- Municipality Registration (Department of Health and Public Safety)
- Registration at the Authority for Regional Health (Health Authority)
The following requirements are given by the relevant health authorities in each emirate. Health Department is the entity which issues a license to establish and operate any pharmaceutical or retail pharmacy in the UAE. These requirements are:
- You need to have a place that should not be less than 30 sq. meters in the area to rent.
- You must appoint a pharmacist who will practice in your pharmacy and who must be licensed as a health authority pharmacist. Or you can initiate the process of having pharmacist licenses from the health authority to operate in your own pharmacy if you are a pharmacist.
- To get a trade license from the Department of Economic Development (DED), a local UAE national sponsor is needed. You will need two licenses to start a pharmacy. One from the Department of Economic Department and another from the health authority in your emirate.
Obtaining a Pharmacy License in the UAE
Under the Federal Regulation, before starting the manufacture or sale of pharmaceutical drugs in the UAE, you or your business must acquire a health authority pharmacy license. For government, semi-government and private health services, this authorization is valid. Often, only community-based pharmacies can be part of the pharmacy.
Pharmaceutical Free Zones in the UAE
Different free zones in the UAE are dedicated to the pharmaceutical industry. Some of these are:
Dubai Healthcare City
Dubai Healthcare Area, formed in 2002 by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, is considered a universal alternative to affordable healthcare and a centre for healthcare improvement. The community contains numerous pharmaceutical corporations such as Abbott, Eli Lilly, J&J, Novartis, etc.
Dubai Science Park
Dubai Science Park has been a part of the TECOM Group since 2005 and is a technology-focused company devoted to start-ups, founders and SMEs in the pharmaceutical and medical industries.
Jebel Ali Free Zone
The Jebel Ali Free Zone is considered one of the key contributors to the UAE economy, and its operational reach in the MENA region has been extended by JAFZA. In contributing to the pharmaceutical industry, JAFZA has taken a move ahead and accounts for 30 percent of Dubai’s trade. It focuses on building a solid basis for the development base of pharmaceuticals throughout the UAE region.
Consulting a Business Formation Specialist
Although starting a company in several industries is pretty simple on your own, however, the pharmaceutical industry is not one of them. To assist with all the information, select a Business Consultant who successfully opened pharmacies in the UAE. As a new company owner, you ought to be careful about hundreds of other matters. Be mindful that errors produced by entrepreneurs at this stage in the UAE have resulted in them losing several thousands of dirhams. Errors that could certainly have been corrected, and resources that they did not have to waste. Assistance from an experienced consultant, however, can pay handsome rewards.
Our consultants at Riz and Mona Consultancy have years of experience in setting up a business. Reach out to us today to book your appointment with our expert consultants.