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Healthcare update: The Positive List under the UAE FDI Law

  • Legal Development 15 April 2020 15 April 2020
  • Middle East

  • Healthcare

In a recent and key development in the landscape of foreign investments in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the UAE has issued the "positive list" of business activities where 100% foreign ownership is now permitted. This update outlines how it applies to the healthcare sector and its relevant activities.

Healthcare update: The Positive List under the UAE FDI Law

The positive list of business activities in which foreign direct investment is permitted as provided for in the UAE FDI Law1 has now been issued by the UAE Cabinet of Ministers (the Positive List Resolution)2 and has come into effect. This is a significant development for foreign investors that are interested in investing in, or are already invested in, the healthcare sector in the UAE.

The key business activities in the healthcare sector that are listed in the "positive list" are the following:

  • Hospitals activities

  • Manufacturing of pharmaceutical materials and chemical and plant pharmaceuticals

  • Medical and dentist clinics activities

  • Other activities in the field of human health.

We set out below the requirements and conditions in respect of each of these activities:

Business activity

Minimum share capital required (AED)

Requirements and conditions

Hospitals

100,000,000

  • Subject to the approval of the competent licensing and regulatory authority in light of the economic need, taking into consideration the number of hospitals, medical and healthcare centres in a certain area

  • Dubai Healthcare City is exempted from the above requirement

Manufacturing of dental instruments and supplies

20,000,000

  • Use of modern technology

  • Providing high added value

  • Contributing to research and development

  • Fulfilling the requirements of the competent licensing and regulatory authority in the relevant Emirate

Manufacturing of pharmaceutical materials and,chemical and plant pharmaceuticals

15,000,000

  • Use of modern technology

  • Providing high added value

  • Contributing to research and development

  • Fulfilling the requirements of the competent licensing and regulatory authority in the relevant Emirate

Medical and dentist clinics

In accordance with the applicable legislation(s)

  • Owners should be natural or corporate persons who are known to excel in this field

Other activities in the field of human health

70,000,000

  • Subject to the applicable legislation(s)

The Positive List Resolution also allows the competent licensing authority in each Emirate and industry specific regulators to impose additional conditions and provides that Emiratisation requirements may be imposed by the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

1 Federal Decree-Law No. 19 of 2018
2 Cabinet Resolution No. 16 of 2020

Clyde & Co has a leading Healthcare team in the UAE. If you have any questions, please contact the authors or any member of Clyde & Co's Healthcare team.

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