Wednesday 20, January 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: The pharmaceutical and healthcare sector in Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), the flagship free zone of Dubai and the UAE, has witnessed a healthy growth over the past years.

HE Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone, said, “Jafza has seen a 7 per cent growth in the number of companies over the past year from 238 in 2014 to 255 in 2015. Some of the world’s best companies have set up their regional base in Jafza and this speaks volumes of their trust in our ability to provide our customers with the most convenient and vital connectivity to the world. Access to the emerging economies of the world such as Africa, South and West Asia, Africa, Russia and the CIS along with our infrastructure and trade benefits has attracted the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry to Jafza.”

He added: “Medical tourism enjoys a strong growth prospect in Dubai with a main focus on Russia, Pakistan, India and countries in CIS, South Asia and Africa. People in these regions need access to high-quality medical technology that may be lacking there. Dubai is located close to these nations and hence an ideal destination to avail integrated medical care.”

“The government is also supporting the growth of medical tourism in the country and this is leveraging the health industry here with more international companies setting up base here. I’m sure in the years to come, Dubai will emerge as the leader in the medical tourism industry as well as attract the best of the world’s pharma companies here.”

Regional governments are increasing their investment in the healthcare sector to support rising demand. Frost and Sullivan predicts the healthcare market in the GCC will grow to $133 billion by 2018. The region is still largely dependent on imports necessitating a centralised place for processing and distribution, and Jafza is the ideal hub to meet regional healthcare demands, while also serving as a base for global trade.

Jafza will be participating in the Arab Health 2016, scheduled to be held from ‎January 25-28 in Dubai. The conference, largest in the Middle East, offers ‎important opportunities to build relationships within the healthcare industry, to ‎showcase progress and achievement in the sector. ‎

Ibrahim Mohamed Aljanahi, Deputy CEO and Chief Commercial Officer said, “Jafza has been participating in the Arab Health over the years and I have seen a steady rise in the number of visiting companies. This shows that the region, especially UAE, has gained a high reputation among the healthcare and pharmaceutical companies. According to Business Monitor International’s report, in 2014, the UAE pharmaceutical market reached a value of USD2.58 billion with a growth of 9.1 per cent in 2015 where the market reached a value of USD2.81 billion.”

Aljanahi added, “Jafza’s support to the healthcare industry goes beyond just transport however, and it offers a host of services and benefits specifically designed to meet the needs of global companies operating the healthcare space.”

Jafza is home to the leading multinationals in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors including Johnson & Johnson, Colgate Palmolive, Roche Group, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline and Quest Vitamins.