UAE Healthcare Market

UAE Healthcare Market

15th Jul 2016

The UAE Healthcare market is one of the fastest growing in the world. It has developed rapidly since 2008 with the construction of large infrastructure projects and the attraction of a range of international investors into the market. It is now projected to be worth $20 Billion by 2020. 


Key Drivers for Healthcare in the UAE

The need for healthcare of a high quality and reliability has been driven by the high incomes of the UAE population but several other significant factors have accelerated that basic demand.

  1. Large multinational population 
  2. High prevalence of chronic diseases (Obesity, Diabetes, Renal Failure)
  3. Ageing population
  4. Medical Tourism (promoted as a Government policy)
  5. Mandatory Healthcare Insurance (started in Abu Dhabi, then Dubai with the Northern Emirates considering following).

The Market comprises several distinct segments, each of which are summarised below.

1: Medical Device Market

Medical imaging equipment is the most important sector of this market followed by Orthopaedic devices. The major players in the market are GE Healthcare, Siemens Healthcare and Philips Medical Systems which supply the bulk of radiological equipment.


2: Pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceuticals Manufacture UAE









The UAE is import dependent with local manufacture limited and largely confined to generic products. Julphar is the major domestic, local manufacturer of drugs. Headquartered in RAK, UAE it has manufacturing plants in Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh and Ethiopia. Local manufacture reduces import duties and transportation costs. However branded drugs dominate the UAE market and these are imported.

City Pharmacy is the biggest drugs importer in the UAE. Founded in Abu Dhabi in 1967, it has over 30% of the market share of pharmaceutical and associated products. Abu Dhabi accounts for over 60% of the UAE market.

Neopharma, part of NMC Group, is a major local manufacturer of drugs. It partnerships with Pfizer and Merck Serona increased its generic portfolio (Pfizer) and branded drug portfolio (Merck Serona).


3: Pharmacy Retail Market

Dubai is the largest retail drug market with the bulk of revenue generated from tourists and medical tourists. Abu Dhabi is dominated by prescription drugs for the treatment of chronic diseases.

The major local retail pharmacy chains are: Life Pharmacy, Bin Sina Pharmacy, Aster Pharmacy and Super Pharmacy.


4: Hospitals and Clinics

There has been a rapid increase in hospitals and clinics since 2008 and the private sector now accounts for a large share of revenue generation. NMC Group presently has the largest market share. Multispeciality hospitals dominate the market although single speciality clinics and hospitals are emerging. The former are, however, more profitable.

Abu Dhabi dominates the hospital market with its large public sector providing primary to advanced tertiary care and flourishing private hospitals and polyclinics which provide primary and secondary care.


5: Independent Diagnostic Laboratories Market

Laboratory Diagnostic Comapny UAE

Pathology services dominate this market due to the testing for chronic diseases. Radiology, in contrast, has a low market share as a consequence of its limited presence in the country. 

The major players are:

Proficiency Healthcare Diagnostics (leads market share, part of Anglo Arabian Healthcare)

National Reference Laboratory (part of Mubadala)

Al Borg Laboratories

Medsol Diagnostics  (part of Gulf Healthcare International)


6: Telemedicine

The initiation of telemedicine services in 2013 with Abu Dhabi Telemedicine Service expanded the reach of UAE physicians, particularly into areas where physicians were scarce. Teleradiology has also shown high growth.


7: Homehealthcare

This is a newly established and still poorly organised sector with services primarily directed at the ageing population and those with chronic disease, particularly diabetes. Poor medical control of diabetes has created a high incidence of renal failure with a requirement for peritoneal dialysis.

Additional services include wound care, medical visits and physiotherapy.

The main players are:

Americare Home Health Services

Manzil Healthcare Services (TVM Capital the German based equity investment group)

Emirati Canadian Home Healthcare Services


For further information please contact Karen Wilson on 0207 998 3971 or 



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