How to open a pharmacy in the UAE


Health care, and pharmaceuticals in particular, began to develop in the UAE relatively recently. However, today this industry has the highest growth potential and wide opportunities for profitable and long-term investment.

As for the pharmacy business itself, such features as excellent service, serious requirements to the quality of drugs, the constant shortage of pharmacists and quite loyal attitude of the state to the activity of pharmacies are characterized for it in the UAE.

So, if you decide to open a business, connected with pharmacy, you have good opportunities in the UAE.

How to start? First of all, think carefully about the location. It is necessary to have high traffic of people, a large traffic flow, a stop, acceptable neighbors and not too high competition near the pharmacy.

In terms of reducing risks for business (due to freezing of invested capital), the best solution will be renting a place for pharmacy instead of buying.

The premises for a pharmacy can be located only on the first floor of the building (except for large shopping centers), and its area should be at least 30 square meters. One of the main requirements for placing a pharmacy is compliance with the correct temperature regime due to the very hot climate in the country. So, in the trading hall and other premises where the employees are at a temperature of 15-30 C, there must be a room for storing preparations with the regime of 8-15 C, including a cold place for medicines, which must be stored at a temperature not exceeding 8 C, in addition, should be a refrigerator (2-8 C) and a freezer. The temperature data of the pharmacy must be registered daily in a special magazine.
Cleaning with disinfectant must be carried out regularly. In addition, it is desirable that the pharmacy has a reliable information system that monitors the remnants of drugs, it is very important for the pharmacy’s image that the most popular drugs are always available.

Investments in opening a pharmaceutical business in Dubai
The amount of investment in opening a pharmaceutical business in Dubai can be from 30,000 to 150,000 dollars depending on the physical structure, area, etc.

The launch of the pharmaceutical business in Dubai
The number of required employees will depend on the structure of the pharmacy. When opening a pharmacy, it is mandatory to bring in a qualified specialist for medicines.

Stock of medicines when opening a pharmaceutical business in Dubai
To start a new pharmacy, you need to invest a lot of money in the purchase of stock. The franchiser can set the level of the required stock, otherwise you yourself can determine the amount that is worth investing in the stock. The total expenditure on the stock of goods can vary considerably. If replenishment of goods occurs quickly, a large stock of goods will not be required to be stored.

When registering a pharmaceutical company in Dubai, you need:

– Obtain a business license (Economic Department of Dubai);
– Attract a certified pharmacist;
– Register in the municipality (in the Department of Health and Public Safety);
– Register with the regional health department – Dubai Health Authority- the authority that issues licenses for the opening of a retail pharmacy in Dubai.

The owners of pharmacies in the UAE are most often entrepreneurs, not pharmacists, but only a certified pharmacist should manage the pharmacy. The opening of this business involves the registration of a local company in the Emirates and the participation of a local beneficiary in the amount of 51% of the business. Therefore, if an investor is a foreigner, he will need to use the service of a local sponsor (the requirement for a local sponsor may be canceled at the end of 2018).

To open a pharmacy, you must obtain a license from both the federal Ministry of Health and the Health Authority of the corresponding emirate. The license for conducting activities is issued for a period of one year, after which it will need to be extended.