The United Arab Emirates is commonly known for high rise buildings, business opportunities, a large presence of expats and arrival of a large number of tourists. The government is trying its level best to provide best facilities to its citizens, expats, and tourists in the country. One such example is the growth of medical and healthcare sectors in the UAE.
Currently, the country is spending around 3.5% of its GDP on health sector. The emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi are especially famous for providing exceptional healthcare facilities which are eminent from the fact that these two emirates are ranked 2nd and 3rd popular destinations for medical tourism in the world. It is because the UAE is providing best and latest medical and healthcare facilities at a low cost as compared to developed countries of Western Europe and North America.
Following are the reasons that will prove one should invest in the healthcare sector in the UAE.
High expat population:
UAE govt. is providing free of cost health facilities to its citizens in the 40 public hospitals across the country. But these local Emirati citizens constitute around 15% population of UAE and more than 85% population of the country is comprised of expats. This clearly highlights the scope of private healthcare business opportunities in the UAE. The expat population belongs to around 200 nationalities. There are people from different economic status residing here. It means that you can expect to gain profit by setting up either a high-class medical facility like a modern hospital or just a basic healthcare facility like a small clinic.
Modern healthcare facilities available at relatively economical cost have made the UAE (especially Dubai and Abu Dhabi) as a favorite destination for medical tourism. People from all around the world visit UAE to seek these best medical and healthcare facilities at the cost they can easily afford. It is evident from a report by the World Bank that more than 260,000 medical tourists visited Dubai only in the first half of 2015.
As the UAE govt. is planning to increase health budget in order to provide exceptional health facilities to patients, the number of medical tourists is also expected to rise in the near future. The number of medical tourist populations is expected to grow by 700,000 people per year by 2021which is a bright sign for progress of healthcare business in UAE.
Facilities provided by UAE Govt:
The UAE government is trying to provide best facilities and high lifestyle to its citizens and other residents of UAE. For this purpose, much importance is given to healthcare. According to the latest research by MRP (Mena Research Partners), the healthcare sector of UAE will grow to AED 103 million by 2021 which is 60% increase as compared to today. There is mandatory health insurance in Dubai and Abu Dhabi that provides an opportunity for growth of private medical sector. There are no taxes and duties on medical and healthcare business in private sector while 100% repatriation of profits to their desired country is allowed for the entrepreneurs.
Different types of healthcare business:
In the UAE, the healthcare and medical business include wide opportunities as foreign investors are encouraged to start various types of medical and healthcare-related businesses. For big investors, there are options for setting up hospitals and day-care surgery which is getting popular in the UAE.
The small investors or professionals can set up their clinics in mainland or free zones in various parts of the UAE. Even there are several options for clinics. You can start a dental clinic in Dubai or a dermatologist clinic in Abu Dhabi according to growth prospects.
Mainland and specific free zone areas:
UAE is providing different facilities for investors of healthcare and medical departments. One such facility is providing the opportunity to set up their business in either onshore (mainland) or specific free zones. Onshore healthcare center requires 51% share from local (Emirati) sponsor but you are free to run your medical business in all parts of UAE by setting a hospital or clinic in mainland UAE.
There are specific free zones in the UAE for healthcare business. A perfect health-related free zone is Dubai Healthcare City. There you will get a complete share of business but your business will be limited to these free zones that have their own rules and regulations.
Public and private healthcare in the emirate of Dubai is managed by Dubai Health Authority (DHA) while the Ministry of Health (MOH) regularizes health sector in most of the other emirates.
In case of setting up a healthcare center (hospital, clinic, etc.) in mainland UAE, you have to go through procedures like preparing documents and approval from the respective authorities. We at Riz & Mona Consultancy can guide you to set up any medical and healthcare structure in all the emirates of UAE in both mainlands and designated free zones. You can contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.