Doing business in Dubai Health Care City (DHCC) in 2024

Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group assists multinational Clients to set up a business in the UAE. Dubai Health Care City (DHCC) is an onshore free zone in the UAE specifically for the medical industry. DHCC is home to several large multinational firms such as Johnson & Johnson and Mediclinic.

Advantages of setting up a business in DHCC

  • Zero corporate income tax for 50 years.
  • 100% foreign ownership.
  • Affordable office and warehouse facilities for rent.
  • No capital controls on profit repatriation to overseas parent company.
  • Zero customs duties payable on any goods passing through DHCC.
  • Ability to trade with the UAE mainland (subject to obtaining a No Objection Certificate from Dubai Economic Department).

Disadvantages of DHCC company registration

  • DHCC does not permit any manufacturing activities.
  • DHCC is an expensive location in which to incorporate and maintain a business, with significant administrative hurdles.
  • All DHCC companies must lease physical office space in DHCC, even if the company has no staff. This adds significantly to running costs.
  • Our Client must travel to Dubai to open a UAE bank account for the DHCC entity.

Permitted DHCC business activities

Education

  • Medical treatment
  • Dental treatment
  • Medical education
  • Medical consultancy
  • Hotel operations
  • Technical and occupational skills sraining
  • Early learning center (nursery)
  • Professional and management development training
  • Educational support service
  • Language training school

Healthcare

  • Clinical in-patient
  • Diagnostic center and medical laboratories
  • Clinical out-patient
  • Non-diagnostic medical laboratories
  • Pharmacy
  • Patient support services

Research and Development

  • Clinical research organization
  • Research center
  • Research and development center

Business Support

  • Consultancy
  • Healthcare consultancy
  • Healthcare management
  • Association (non profit)
  • Event management
  • Executive search

Paid up share capital requirements

  • New limited liability companies in DHCC are subject to the following minimum paid-up share capital requirements.
    Business Minimum paid-up share capital US$
    Non-clinical/medical facilities 13,615
    Clinics 27,230
    Hospitals 81,670
    Three-star Hotel 272,295
    Four-star Hotel 544,590
    Five-star Hotel 816,885
  • Branches are not subject to any minimum paid-up share capital requirements.
  • Paid-up capital must be transferred to DHCC Free Zone Authority during company incorporation.

Steps to register a business in DHCC

Healy Consultants Group will project manage the A to Z of our Client’s DHCC business set up. DHCC business set up steps include:

Pre-incorporation steps

  • Consultation: Prior to DHCC company incorporation, Healy Consultants Group consults with our Client to understand in detail their existing business model and intended activities in DHCC.
  • Corporate structure: Healy Consultants Group’s in-house DHCC expert recommends the optimum and most efficient corporate structure for our Client to legally perform their business in DHCC.
  • KYC and due diligence: Upon confirming our Client’s exact requirements, Healy Consultants Group asks our Client to i) settle engagement fees; ii) return a completed and signed copy of our engagement letter and iii) furnish at least 75% of the required due diligence documents.
  • Planning: Healy Consultants Group compiles all information gained during the consultation period and begins engagement planning, including i) preparing a detailed project plan mapping out engagement steps ii) drafting a business plan to support multi-currency corporate bank account opening and iii) selecting applicable licenses for our Client’s DHCC business.

Incorporation steps

  • Incorporation application: Healy Consultants Group’s Dubai team i) creates a Masaar profile for our Client ii) compiles all necessary documentation for incorporation and iii) submits a quality incorporation application online.
  • In-principal approval: upon DHCC’s confirmation that our Client can proceed, our Team i) sources suitable office premises for our Client’s consideration, and ii) secures any additional ministerial approvals that may be required for our Client’s specific business.
  • Our Client confirms their intended activities in DHCC and Healy Consultants Group liaises with DHCC Free Zone Authority to assist our Client select the appropriate license for their business.
  • During incorporation, the share capital is deposited to DHCC Free Zone Authority (capital amount will vary depending on business license selected). The authority will hold the deposit until the corporate bank account is opened.

Post incorporation steps

  • Incorporation completion: Upon receiving our Client’s DHCC corporate documents, Healy Consultants Group i) completes VAT registration for our Client’s DHCC company and ii) begins negotiating with banks to secure interest in onboarding our Client’s business.
  • Bank meetings: Our Client confirms to Healy Consultants Group their preferred travel dates to Dubai. Our Team schedules meetings between our Client and multiple leading banks UAE-based banks, with the intention of signing bank account opening applications.
  • Bank account opening: Over the following six weeks, Healy Consultants Group liaises with the banks to push our Client’s applications forward, meet any additional due diligence requirements and answer any questions the banks may have until our Client has at least one multi-currency corporate bank account.
  • Share capital deposit transfer: as soon as our Client’s corporate bank account is opened, Healy Consultants Group instructs DHCC Free Zone Authority to transfer the share capital deposit into the new bank account.

Engagement completion

  • Engagement completion: Healy Consultants Group confirms our Client’s preferred address and couriers the full, original company kit to our Client, along with a Client feedback survey.

Fees for DHCC business setup

  • Healy Consultants Group’s standard total engagement fee for full DHCC business setup is US$26,015.
  • For a detailed breakdown of our DHCC package services, refer to our draft DHCC invoice. Note that this fee excludes i) any additional regulatory licenses your business may require ii) paid-up share capital requirements and iii) any professional nominee services you require.

View invoice PDF

DHCC business setup case study

A leading Australian medical training and certification organization expands into the United Arab Emirates

Background

Our Client provides multi-level medical training and certification to numerous international clientele. Their focus is on improving and instilling a higher baseline standard across the medical field which encourages higher healthcare standards for all.

Our Client engaged Healy Consultants Group to help establish their business in Dubai Healthcare City. The specific services they enlisted were i) establishing a new DHCC company, ii) locating a physical office premises, iii) registering for VAT, iv) obtaining an NOC to operate on Dubai mainland and v) opening a corporate bank account.

Engagement planning

  • Our Client made contact with Healy Consultants Group and was looking to understand more about setting up in DHCC.
  • Our team then prepared and provided our Client with a proposal which included the full timeline and cost of the engagement.
  • Upon our Client confirming their desire to proceed, an advancement was prepared and sent to our Client.
  • Once our Client settled our fees, Healy Consultants Group prepared a detailed engagement project plan mapping out a step-by-step plan to engagement completion.

Company registration

  • Healy Consultants Group i) confirmed the corporate structure of the DHCC business, ii) checked the availability of our Client’s preferred company name and iii) created a Masaar profile for our Client’s business.
  • After our Client’s company was pre-approved by DHCC, our team proceeded to obtain the necessary approvals from the education ministry in Dubai.
  • Upon completion of incorporation, Healy Consultants Group secured a No Objection Certificate from the Department of Economic Development department, permitting our Client to trade with mainland Clients.
  • Completing the company incorporation was a very long and arduous process due to the tremendous difficulty of securing the required documentation from our Client. Overall, the incorporation process took four months to complete.
  • Upon completing the incorporation, our team registered our Client’s business for VAT.

Corporate bank account opening

  • Healy Consultants Group created a detailed business plan for our Client’s business and used it to secure interest from a number of banks.
  • Our team then received preliminary interest from a few banks.
  • Our Client confirmed their travel dates to Dubai and we subsequently arranged a number of meetings with the interested banks.
  • Our Client travelled to Dubai and met with the various banks that showed interest in our Client’s business.
  • After numerous weeks of negotiating with the various banks and providing all requested due diligence to them, only one (Mashreq Bank) was interested in receiving a final bank account opening application from our Client.
  • The corporate bank account opening process was extremely long and it was a challenging process due to an extreme time taken by the Client to prepare and send through time-sensitive documents. The delay in receiving these documents required the process to be repeated several times over the course of 18 months.
  • Mashreq Bank issued the corporate bank account numbers within five weeks after receiving the requested original signed bank account opening application forms within the agreed timeframe.

Engagement completion

  • Our Client engage Healy Consultants Group to annually renew their DHCC company.

Conclusion

Allow Healy Consultants Group to project manage your UAE free zone business set up including i) company registration and ii) multi-currency corporate bank account opening and iii) office premises and iv) legal and compliance considerations and v) accounting and tax considerations and vi) Staff recruitment and vii) so on.

Contact us

For additional information on our company registration services in Dubai, please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
client relationship officer - Chrissi