The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), the regulator of the healthcare sector in the Emirate, continues to work closely with investors to stimulate high quality investments that support the future needs and demands of the healthcare sector. This investment plan is in line with the UAE Federal Law on Foreign Direct Investment No. 16 for 2020, which grants foreign investor ownership up to 100%.

The DOH clarified that foreign investors can own or co-own private healthcare facilities in the UAE, based on certain regulations, including general hospitals with a capacity of no less than 50 beds and specialized hospitals with a capacity of no less than 50 beds within the scope of specialties determined by the DOH. In addition, the ownership of healthcare centers and clinics with rare specialties,  as well as hotel clinics, academic institution clinics and clinics within construction companies, whereby the clinics maybe 100% owned by the owner of the hotel, academic institution or company.

DoH supports investors by identifying the current and future strategic investment opportunities available and the current gaps in the healthcare sector in the Emirate. The department identifies specialties in the healthcare sector that are undersupplied and are necessary for meeting local needs. Investors interested in learning more about the healthcare sector in Abu Dhabi can access DoH’s Healthcare Capacity Master Plan (HCMP) and the Certificate of Need (CoN) tool. HCMP is designed to help Abu Dhabi respond to its current and future healthcare demands, establish a healthcare planning culture and introduce guiding principles and specific plans for healthcare capacity and provision, using the latest data analysis and planning tools. DoH has also recently developed the CoN, a self-service tool that provides real-time information on the healthcare supply, demand and capacity needs in the Emirate.

H.E. Dr. Jamal Mohammed AlKaabi, Undersecretary of DoH, said: "Abu Dhabi has succeeded in positioning itself as an attractive and unique global investment hub and through the strong vision and efforts of the Department of Health, current investment opportunities also extend to the healthcare sector. The Emirate’s position today is the result of strong infrastructure, advanced regulatory frameworks and exceptional healthcare facilities. including the private sector that makes up 80% of the total healthcare facilities in the Emirate.”

AlKaabi added, “Offering investment opportunities with 100% ownership in the healthcare sector is a significant step forward in the Department of Health’s ongoing efforts to stimulate high-quality investments in Abu Dhabi. We are confident that these ongoing investment initiatives will improve the overall quality of healthcare services while contributing to a more sustainable healthcare sector. As such, DoH remains committed to providing integrated and continuous care in line with our vision to promote ‘A Healthier Abu Dhabi’.”

DoH is currently ramping up its efforts to support an open market for outpatient facilities including healthcare centres, clinics, pharmacies, dental clinics, etc., as well as all cosmetic services that are non-insurance based.