Setting Up a Pharmacy in UAE

Ebi Kadavan, Assistant Manager


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    The pharmaceutical sector in Arabian Gulf is highly advanced and it continues to grow at an exponential pace. It is expected to reach $25.7bn in the next decade, which is almost double when compared to its revenue in 2018 ($13.9 billion).

    The government of UAE has been taking diverse measures to boost the sector, by lowering the restrictions and attracting more pharmaceutical companies to UAE.

    If you are planning to start a pharmaceutical company in UAE, Dubai mainland would be the best option when compared to free zones. The Department of Economic Development (DED) is the authority responsible for all types of businesses in Dubai mainland and company formation steps include;

    • Identifying local sponsor
    • Taking passport copies of partners including the local sponsor
    • Naming the drugstore/pharmacy
    • Submitting name approval application and getting initial approval from Department of Economic Development (DED)
    • Submitting the application to Dubai Health Authority (DHA)

    Initial Approval from Dubai Health Authority (DHA) 

    1. Generate a username and password to commence the initial approval process
    2. Upload the proposal letter to the online website
    3. Appoint a medical director and pharmacist
    4. Find a location for the pharmacy
    5. Upload the engineering layout as per DHA rules

    Once you get initial approval from DHA,

    • The tenancy contract along with Ejari for the premises need to be obtained
    • Draft the memorandum of Association and side agreement with the local sponsor
    • Notarize the memorandum of Association from court
    • Submit the necessary documents to DED and get the pharmacy license
    • Following the issuance of pharmacy license from DED,the document need to be submitted for final DHA approval

    Final Approval from Dubai Health Authority (DHA)

    1. Interior fit-out construction according to the layout permitted by DHA in the initial approval
    2. Professional approval for the medical director
    3. Final fit out inspection from DHA

    Documents Required

    For Department of Economic Development

    • Passport copies and Unique Identification Number (UID) of the owners
    • Application form for the trade name and initial approval
    • Initial Approval from Dubai Health Authority (DHA)
    • Passport copy and Unique Identification Number (UID) number of the Manager
    • Qualification and experience certificate of Manager
    • NOC from sponsor, if the manager is holding valid visa in UAE
    • Passport copy and attested qualification certificate of pharmacist and medical director
    • Tenancy contract (During final submission to DED)
    • Passport copy, Emirates ID and Gincia of Local sponsor (UAE national)

    For Dubai Health Authority

              Initial Approval

    • DED trade name reservation
    • Dubai municipality affection plan of the plot/building
    • Passport copies & UID number of partners
    • Engineering layout as per DHA guidelines
    • Proposal and Undertaking letter
    • Passport copy and Qualification certificate of the medical director and pharmacist
    • Offer letter for the Medical Director and Pharmacist

              Final Approval

    • Interior fit-out construction according to the layout permitted by DHA in the initial approval
    • Professional approval for the medical director
    • Final inspection report and approval from DHA

    The UAE plans to establish itself as a global hub for pharmaceutical companies. Hence setting up a pharma firm in UAE  will be highly profitable and easy.

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