Opportunities in the Pharmaceutical Industry in the UAE

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Healthcare expenditures in the UAE are expected to rise to $21.3 billion by 2021 and is projected to account for 4.6% of the country’s GDP by 2026. Government commitment to increasing local manufacturing of pharmaceutical goods Tax free zones across…

by | Dec 9, 2020 | 0 comments

  • Healthcare expenditures in the UAE are expected to rise to $21.3 billion by 2021 and is projected to account for 4.6% of the country’s GDP by 2026.
  • Government commitment to increasing local manufacturing of pharmaceutical goods
  • Tax free zones across the country representing hubs for the pharmaceutical industry

pharmaceutical companies in uae

A key sector in the UAE

In the past decade, Pharma Industries have been a focus of UAE’s business development. The UAE’s pharmaceutical market was predicted to grow to $4bn in 2020, representing a CAGR of 8.5 percent from 2019. UAE is one of the first countries to recover, and remains a sought-after location for foreign investors. With Covid continuing to be a threat, healthcare expenditures in the UAE are expected to rise to $21.3 billion by 2021 which is projected to account for 4.6% of the country’s GDP by 2026.

To achieve sustainable growth for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry the U.A.E. government has adopted a series of long-term plans. The Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030 and the Abu Dhabi vision 2030, consider the pharmaceutical industry as one of the main sub sectors to develop with its future growth prospects, export potential and mid-term to long-term economic impact.

A key long-term focus for the UAE government has been to reduce their reliance on imported pharmaceuticals. A report by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry estimated the volume of UAE imports of pharmaceutical products at AED 14.9bn in 2018. In the one year, companies in the UAE exported AED 1.2bn worth of pharmaceutical products and re-exported to the value of AED 3.8bn. Local manufacturing of pharmaceuticals is now a primary goal for the government, the ministry of health and legislating authorities.

A country that welcomes business

One huge incentive for international companies looking to expand is the ease of doing business. This is something that the UAE excels in. To increase their infrastructure the UAE has created several free zones across the country that are now hubs for the pharmaceutical industry. These include Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai Science Park and Jebel Ali Free Zone.

The facilities and incentives on offer – from the free zones to special tax codes – have certainly gotten the attention of multinational companies. The country is an outlier in adopting a contemporary approach to addressing 21st-century challenges,” Mohamed Galal, VP, Head of Middle East – Bayer Consumer Health.  

French midcap drug maker, Ipsen has echoes this sentiment in rolling out its new Middle East & North Africa (MENA) strategy:

 “When reflecting upon where to open our regional office, it became pretty clear that the UAE offered the most viable proposition simply because of the overall comparative ease of doing business and maturity of the supporting infrastructure including the availability of qualified individuals that could assist us in expanding our presence out across the region” Khaled Elrefae, the company’s Middle East and Africa specialty care operations head.

A growing pharmaceutical sector. Efficient infrastructure. Business friendly tax system. With a government committed to helping foreign companies establish and expand their presence in the country. The UAE market represents a huge opportunity for international pharmaceutical companies.

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Sources:

https://www.cartermurray.ae/blog/2020/01/an-overview-of-the-pharmaceutical-industry-in-the-uae

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/uae-pharmaceutical-market-at-37b-by-2020-healthcare-industry-in-united-arab-emirates-forecast-to-show-significant-growth-potential-274356961.html

https://www.khaleejtimes.com/pharma-industry-sees-robust-growth-ahead-1

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