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Enabling the growth of the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Sector in the UAE

Enabling the growth of the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Sector in the UAE

The Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals sector is one of the important targeted sectors in the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030. Jebel Ali Free Zone “Jafza” plays a vital pioneering role by contributing to the strategy on various economic aspects. The Free Zone administration is afoot working with Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals companies to encourage them to move their industrial facilities and research centres to Jafza, as well as, DP World, UAE Region’s Parks and Zones that provide world-class services and infrastructure, and an ideal investment environment through unique initiatives and incentives for the sector.

Jafza’s healthcare and pharmaceuticals profile

Jafza has the highest levels of infrastructure and investment packages, appropriate to attract companies operating in the Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals sector, and as a result, Jafza is home to a large number of companies from the sector. These companies provide high-quality and advanced facilities dedicated to this field and attractive facilities that are available with the advantage of providing all services in one stop shop plus the rest of the investment packages available in the Jebel Ali Free Zone.

Major laws and regulations governing pharmaceutical companies in the UAE

The primary legislation governing pharmaceutical companies in the UAE is the Federal Law Number 4 of 1983 regarding the pharmacy profession and pharmaceutical institutions, and this law applies to pharmacists, pharmaceutical institutions, import, manufacture, and distribution of pharmaceutical products. And pharmaceutical products on the licenses required to conduct their business. Governmental regulatory bodies for each emirate (such as the Dubai Health Authority) also issue regulations from time to time to regulate pharmaceutical companies, each within their jurisdiction.

Strategic partnerships in the healthcare and pharmaceuticals sector

Jafza has undertaken several efforts to develop the healthcare system in the country, enabling factories in the free zone to enter the regional and global markets easily. It also opened newer opportunities for medical products manufactured in Dubai by providing the appropriate legislative environment for ease of doing business and speeding up obtaining the necessary approvals and permits to allow Jafza. This has attracted more foreign investments in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector, leading to the steady growth in this sector locally and regionally.

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In 2017, Jafza signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Health and Prevention, represented in the public health policy sector and licenses for the development of pharmaceutical industries, pharmaceuticals, and medical means due to its positive impact on protecting public health as well as its strategic economic dimension and its contribution to supporting the country’s competitiveness at the global level. The MoU states the development of procedures for licensing and registration of factories to be established in Jafza and to carry out its business effectively and to enhance coordination between the two parties to implement the legislation in force in the UAE, regarding licenses required for pharmaceutical factories, pharmaceuticals, and medical products.

According to the MoU, the Ministry licenses existing factories in Jafza according to the procedures followed in the Ministry based on the industrial license issued by Jafza. The factories must register their products with the Ministry, whether for the purpose of export or for the purpose of distribution within the state. Factories are also obligated to assign one or more distributors, who hold a medical warehouse license licensed by the ministry and other competent authorities (such as Dubai Municipality), to distribute their products inside the country.

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