The UAE’s healthcare industry is one of its fastest growing. Expected to reach almost USD 11bn by the end of this year, it is currently increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 7.5%.
Within this vast market are a wide range of sectors from healthcare and wellness centres to cosmetic surgeons, physios, and many more. However, perhaps the most visible type of healthcare business is the pharmacy, of the sort that lines many of Dubai’s busiest streets.
Pharmacies offer a range of products and services, from health check-ups and medical advice to all manner of medication and supplements. Such is their versatility that they represent a significant business opportunity. And, when you start a Dubai pharmacy with Business Incorporation Zone (BIZ), the whole process can be incredibly straightforward.
What are the benefits of starting a pharmacy in Dubai?
A large and thriving market is certainly one of the top benefits of opening a pharmacy in Dubai, but it’s far from being the only one.
Dubai is famed for its smooth company incorporation process and regularly ranks highly for ease of doing business. Then, of course, there are the many benefits of starting a business of any kind in the UAE. These include the country’s 0% tax rate on corporate and personal income, minimal barriers to entry, and its time-tested and supportive company incorporation process.
How to start a pharmacy in Dubai, UAE
The first thing to do when starting any business in Dubai is choose your company name. When doing this, you must abide by a strict set of naming conventions.
In short, you should avoid any offensive or blasphemous language. Avoid names of well-known organisations and avoid abbreviations if naming your company after yourself – i.e., Dave Mann Consulting, rather than D Mann Consulting. You must also check that your chosen name is available to register.
With this decision made, you can apply for your trade license. You should make this application to the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED). BIZ can handle this process for you.
When making your application, you are usually only required to provide a few details and some basic documentation, including:
- Completed application form
- Passport copy of the proposed owner or owners
- Two colour passport size photos
Steps to start a pharmacy in Dubai
There are several more steps to starting a pharmacy in Dubai after the trade license stage. For one, to become a registered pharmacist, you will need to prove that you are qualified to do so.
Registered pharmacists must hold a basic pharmacy certificate from a recognised institute of education. You will also need to have at least two years of relevant experience in your field and pass the Ministry of Health and Prevention’s (MOHAP) pharmacy evaluation. Finally, registered pharmacists must be fluent in both Arabic and English.
You will also need to obtain approval to trade from the Health Regulation Department (HRD).
As part of this process, the HRD will conduct a site assessment of your premises. If it meets Dubai Health Authority requirements, you will be issued with your pharmacy license. This process can take up to 20 days.
You are also required to hold a residency visa to work in the UAE. The process consists of several steps including biometric scanning, a medical and a chest x-ray.
As the holder of a UAE business license, you can also sponsor others for their visas too. This could be a spouse, parent or child, or a domestic worker such as a housekeeper.
Finally, you will need a corporate bank account to trade out here. Once again, BIZ can handle all applications for you, liaising with relevant authorities on your behalf.
What is the cost of starting a pharmacy in Dubai?
The cost of opening and operating a pharmacy in Dubai will depend on many factors. Most notably, the size and location of your premises.
As well as these costs, and the cost of your pharmacy license, you will also need to account for the MOHAP evaluation fees which can reach around AED 3,300.
For a personalised breakdown of the costs involved in starting your pharmacy business, talk to the experts at BIZ.
Are you ready to start your pharmacy business in Dubai?
Hopefully, this guide has made clear that if you’re armed with the right knowledge, setting up a pharmacy in Dubai, UAE, doesn’t have to be overly complex.
That being said, it does require a level of prior knowledge of the process. What’s more, it is important to note that the application process is only straightforward if your license application is complete at the time of submission and free from errors.
To help you ensure that this is the case, it’s a good idea to work with a Dubai company formation specialist such as Business Incorporation Zone (BIZ) when establishing a new company in the UAE.
We are a team of company registration professionals who are passionate about bringing the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs to life.
As well as handling your license application, BIZ can also assist with the opening of corporate bank accounts and advise on the most appropriate financial institution to suit your specific needs.
We also offer visa and immigration services and can handle all government formalities, permissions, work permits and visa applications that are required to trade in the UAE.
In short, our experts can establish your company on your behalf, make your license and visa applications, and take care of all the necessary admin – leaving you free to get on with running your business.