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10% growth in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector in Jafza
(29 January 2017)


The healthcare and pharmaceutical sector in Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), a DP World Company and the UAE’s flagship trade and logistics hub for the Middle East region and Africa, grew by 10% to 314 companies in 2016 compared to 284 during the previous year. The value of trade in the sector rose to AED 13.3 billion in 2015, emphasising Dubai’s growing significance in the regional medical, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry and the key role of Jafza in attracting investors in the industry.

To showcase the growing opportunities of the healthcare sector in the region and the facilities available for their growth in Jafza, the free zone is participating in the Arab Health exhibition from January 30 to February 2, 2017 at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre. Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation said that the UAE is one of the most promising markets for healthcare service providers because of the government’s focus on healthcare and the plans in place to develop Dubai as the regional hub for medical tourism.

Mr. Bin Sulayem, said: “There is strong public-private sector partnership in line with the government’s vision to develop Dubai as the hub for medical tourism. An increased focus on the sector to provide people with world class medical facilities is also driving development in this sector. The government has also stepped up efforts to get the necessary approvals for drugs and permits, which indicates the growth of a competitive health sector. This will enhance the sector’s contribution to the economy and raise the quality of services provided to consumers.”

According to a recent Business Monitor International (BMI) report, the medical equipment market in the MENA region is expected to grow by 8.8 percent annually between 2015 and 2020. The pharmaceutical sector in the Middle East and Africa region is expected to increase to USD 46 billion by 2020 compared to USD 33.8 billion in 2015.

Of the 314 healthcare sector companies in Jafza, 38 percent are from the Middle East with 25 percent from Europe while Asia, the Americas and Africa comprise 19 percent, 11 percent and 7 percent respectively.

Mr. Bin Sulayem, added: “Modern infrastructure, multi-modal logistics and efficient services define Jafza and these facilities attract pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies to the free zone. As part of the Dubai Industrial Strategy, launched by the visionary leadership of the emirate there is an added focus on the pharmaceutical and cosmetic manufacturing sectors which will help develop Dubai as a major source of medical and cosmetic products in the Middle East. The strategy aims to reinforce our vision of Dubai being the ‘Capital of the Islamic Economy’ through the support of Halal industries.”

Jafza has achieved tremendous success at Arab Health over the years and attracted numerous multinationals to set up their operations from the free zone. This year, meetings with companies will be held to identify their needs and provide tailor-made business solutions, facilities and services. Jafza is currently home to leading multinational in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector such as Johnson & Johnson, Colgate, Roche, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline "GSK”, and Quest Vitamins.

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