How to Start a Healthcare Business in the UAE

June 6, 2024

Setting up a healthcare business in the UAE presents a promising opportunity for entrepreneurs, as the market is experiencing significant growth. Healthcare expenditure in the UAE is projected to reach AED 84 billion (USD 22.9 billion) by 2024, reflecting a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.7%. This surge is driven by an increasing focus on preventive care, wellness and beauty, and catering to the urban lifestyle. Moreover, there is a growing emphasis on fitness, digital health solutions, and telemedicine, aligning with global trends and consumer preferences for more accessible and efficient healthcare services.

The UAE boasts a well-developed healthcare infrastructure and is recognized as a leader in the Middle East due to its commitment to innovation and attracting global expertise. With advancements in medical technology and rising health awareness, the demand for quality care is stronger than ever. Whether in consultancy or the import and export of medical devices, entrepreneurs entering this dynamic and growing sector can leverage these trends to establish successful healthcare businesses. 

If you choose to set up a healthcare business, you should secure your license from SPC Free Zone. Below, you will find eight business activities that you can choose.

7020.18: Health management consulting services

As part of its business activity, Health Management and Consulting Services provides a full spectrum of consulting and operational support to healthcare businesses. Services focus on health information management, which involves organizational and strategic planning, helping healthcare establishments improve their efficiency and effectiveness over time.

Budgeting, allocating resources, and financial planning are all covered in order to help make sound financial decisions that will lead to long-term success. Health management consulting can formulate marketing goals and policies, including branding, communication, and market research, to enhance patient engagement and loyalty.

This business activity caters to all aspects of human resource management, including hiring, induction, performance reviews, and staff retention, which a healthcare management consultant overlooks. Optimizing production scheduling and control planning further improves operational efficiency, which in turn improves resource use and eventually leads to proper patient care delivery.

Under this activity, the class excludes the following: design of computer software for accounting systems, legal advice and representation, accounting, bookkeeping and auditing activities, tax consulting, architectural, engineering, and other technical advisory activities, advertising activities, market research and public opinion polling, executive placement or search consulting services, educational consulting activities.

  • Third-party Approval: This business activity does not require third-party approval.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Returns: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 7020.18. 
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 7020.18. 

7020.23: Pharmaceutical Consultancies

Experts who provide service under this type of business activity revolve around pharmaceutical consultancies, giving pharmaceutical companies expert guidance and direction in a wide range of areas. This includes both long-term and short-term planning for organizations, as well as methods to assist businesses in creating and implementing plans that will enhance their efficiency and effectiveness. Budgeting, allocating resources, and financial planning are all parts of financial decision-making assistance that contribute to long-term growth.

Regulatory affairs is another area of expertise that pharmaceutical consultancies provide, which helps clients understand and comply with various regulations. Pharma consulting companies also provide advice on how to improve product production and get it ready for market through R&D, which includes clinical trials. 

Pharma consulting also includes developing marketing and sales strategies to maximize market penetration for pharmaceutical companies while simultaneously engaging patients. Pharma consulting companies also focus on improving organizational performance by addressing human resource policies and procedures, scheduling production, and control planning.

Under this activity, the class excludes the following – design of computer software for accounting systems, legal advice and representation, accounting, bookkeeping and auditing activities, tax consulting, architectural, engineering, and other technical advisory activities, advertising activities, market research and public opinion polling, executive placement or search consulting services, educational consulting activities.

  • Third-party Approval: This business activity does not require third-party approval.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Returns: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 7020.23. 
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 7020.23. 

4649.08: Wholesale of pharmaceutical and medical goods

The wholesale of pharmaceutical and medical goods is a type of business activity that involves the distribution of various healthcare products in large quantities to a variety of establishments, including pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics. Wholesalers distribute medications, medical equipment, diagnostic instruments, and everything else in the medical field that falls under this category. Wholesalers should be industry experts when it comes to the supply chain, which is critical because they make sure that these essential items are always readily available for deployment.

These types of wholesalers have several key responsibilities, including inventory management, product procurement from manufacturers, and storage and distribution logistics coordination. In order to help healthcare providers choose and use the best products, wholesalers often offer value-added services, including market analysis, sales assistance, and customer education. This line of work helps keep healthcare systems running smoothly and improves patient outcomes by supplying essential medical supplies on time and reliably.

  • Third-party Approval: After acquiring the business license, approval is required from the Sharjah Health Authority.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Returns: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 4649.08. 
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 4649.08. 

4772.00: Retail Sale of Pharmaceutical and Medical Goods, Cosmetic and Toilet Articles in Specialized Stores

The retail sale of pharmaceutical and medical goods, cosmetics, and toilet articles in specialized stores is a business activity that involves providing a diverse array of health and beauty products directly to consumers.

Here you can find a wide range of pharmaceuticals, including both prescription and over-the-counter treatments, for sale to the general public. Retail sales of orthopedic and medical items, including prosthetics, wheelchairs, and other mobility aids, as well as health support products, are also included, serving customers with specific medical needs.

Furthermore, this business also includes the retail sale of cosmetics, which encompasses a wide range of personal care and beauty items. Customers will also feel secure knowing that they will have access to high-quality, dependable products at specialized businesses in this field, where skilled staff members are available to offer expert advice and assistance. By making a wide variety of pharmaceutical, medical, and cosmetic products easily accessible to the general public, this business activity is crucial in promoting health, wellness, and personal care.

  • Third-party Approval: Approval is required from the Sharjah Health Authority before acquiring a business license.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Returns: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 4772.00 
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 4772.00 . 

4772.0: Retail sale of pharmaceuticals

The retail sale of pharmaceuticals is a type of business that deals with the direct sale of various medications to customers through specialized outlets like drugstores and pharmacies. This category includes both legally prescribed pharmaceuticals (such as those found in prescription drugs) and those available over-the-counter (OTC).

  • Third-party Approval: Approval is required from the Sharjah Health Authority before acquiring a business license.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Returns: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 4772.01 
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 4772.01. 

4772.02: Retail sale of medical and orthopedic goods

The retail sale of orthopedic and medical goods is a business activity that involves providing customers with a curated selection of health-related items, usually through dedicated outlets. These establishments can provide the necessary medical devices and orthopedic aids for people with mobility issues or other medical conditions.

Braces, supports, prosthetics, orthotic devices, wheelchairs, walkers, and other mobility aids, as well as other home healthcare equipment, usually fall under this category. Stores selling orthopedic and medical supplies make sure that their offerings are up to par in terms of quality and safety, and they frequently offer individualized assistance to clients in making the right product choices for their ailments.

To help consumers get the most out of their purchases, well-informed staff can provide advice on how to use and maintain these products properly. Undertaking this business activity is very important for helping people deal with their health problems in a healthy way and maintain their independence and well-being.

  • Third-party Approval: Approval is required from the Sharjah Health Authority before acquiring a business license.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Returns: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 4772.02. 
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 4772.02.

4773.02: Activities of opticians

Activities for Opticians is a business activity that entails the provision of a variety of eye care services and products that improve and safeguard vision health. Selling prescription eyewear (including spectacles and contact lenses) is one of the individualized services offered by optometrists, who usually operate their own specialty retail stores. They are very important in the healthcare system because they ensure that people get the correct eye aids for their needs.

To make sure the eyeglasses are comfortable and work as intended, optometrists conduct in-depth fittings. In addition to helping clients with their vision correction needs, they offer professional guidance in choosing frames and lenses that complement their personal style. Reading glasses, sunglasses, and prescription eyeglasses are just a few of the optical accessories sold by opticians.

To top it all off, opticians fix and maintain eyewear, so clients’ lenses and spectacles always look their best. By offering these specialized products and services, opticians assist consumers in improving their eyesight, health, and general well-being.

  • Third-party Approval: Approval is required from the Sharjah Health Authority before acquiring a business license.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Returns: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 4773.02. 
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 4773.02.

7020.33: Health Consultancy and Planning

Health management consulting and planning services is a type of business activity that involves advising healthcare organizations on various management difficulties and helping them with day-to-day operations. 

In order to assist organizations in creating and executing successful long-term plans, this includes both strategic and organizational planning. Budgeting, resource allocation, and financial planning are all areas that might use some help when it comes to making financial decisions, which can help keep growth going strong. Health consultation and planning services often involve creating marketing strategies and goals to increase outreach and patient involvement. In order to attract, develop, and maintain competent staff, professional advice is given on human resource strategies, procedures, and plans.

A more streamlined and efficient operation is the result of attending to production schedules and control planning. The goals of these services are to improve healthcare outcomes, guarantee compliance with regulations, and maximize organizational performance.

  • Third-party Approval: This business activity does not require third-party approval.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Returns: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 7020.33. 
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 7020.33. 

Did you find what you were looking for? Explore the other guides in our Activity Hub for exploring unique business ideas in Dubai and navigate the essentials of business setup with ease.

You can also calculate your business setup costs easily using our handy cost calculator and choose from our customized company setup packages to find your perfect fit.

Get your business license in the UAE today and explore a world of opportunities waiting for you.

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