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Regulatory Functions

Commercial License

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All entities operating in Dubai Healthcare City requires a commercial License in accordance with the Licensing Regulations. Dubai healthcare City Authority – Regulatory (DHCR) issues various types of commercial Licenses in accordance with the Legal Status of the proposes Clinical or Non-clinical facility including:

  • Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ-LLC)
  • Branch of a foreign Company
  • Branch of a UAE Company or Establishment

The entities who has Commercial License from DHCA are also required to obtain an Operating Permit for the Clinical or Non-Clinical facility.

Operating Permit

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All licensees are required to obtain an Operating Permit before commencing business operations in the zone. The Operating Permit is valid for one year and is renewed annually.

Clinical

Healthcare is the core cluster of DHCC which include hospitals, clinic, laboratories and pharmacies. This permit is issued only after passing the Pre-operating assessment.


Non-Clinical

The operating permit for non-healthcare activities is issued after successful completion of engineering inspection.

Engineering Services

1.   Design compliance review for clinical and non-clinical facilities.

  • New Buildings Projects- Clinical:
  • A critical pre-requisite to obtaining a project building permit from DCCA, and which enables the commencement of work on site, is the submission of design documentation to DHCR.

    • Required documents: click here for the Design submission check list for new buildings.
    • Preliminary Design Review Period: 3 – 10 working days from date of submission.
    • Final Design Review Period: 10 – 21 working days from date of submission.
    • Fee: fees shall be calculated based on GFA in ft². please refer to DHCR fee matrix.

  • General Fit-out works:
  • General fit-out works include fit-out works for core and shell units and the modification works in fitted out units whether in DHCC owned buildings or other developers owned buildings.

    • Required documents: click here for the design submission check list for Fit-out works.
    • Design Review Period: 2 – 5 working days from date of submission.
    • Fit-out completion inspection: refer to the attached form of Fit-out inspection Request.
    • Fee: fees shall be calculated based on GFA in ft². please refer to DHCR fee matrix.

  • Minor Fit-out works:
  • Minor works shall include all Fit-out works which do not by any means affect the existing electro-mechanical systems, fire alarm and fire-fighting systems, Civil Defense requirements and building structure.

    • Required documents: click here for the form of design submission check list for Fit-out works.
    • Design Review Period: 1 – 2 working days from date of submission.
    • Fee: 1,000 AED.

2.   Signage application:

Permits issued for building external signage are subject to an initial application and annual renewal fees.

  • Initial application: here for the form.
  • Initial application fee: 1,000 AED.
  • Annual display permit fee: refer to DHCR fee matrix.

3.   Contractor replacement:

  • Required documents: click here for the form.
Professional Licensing

DHCR issues license to practice to Healthcare professionals which include Physicians (Medical/Dental), Nurses, Allied Health, CAM professionals, trainees and faculty.


Certain specialties require DHCA Licensing examination which is provided through Prometric Test Centers worldwide. Specific licensing requirements are listed In the guidelines.

Quality Improvement

​​​​​​​​​ DHCR’s Quality Improvement Department is to identify, evaluate and implement best practices to improve patient safety and quality of care. The focus of quality improvement is patient-centered healthcare.


Key responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring clinical standards are implemented by clinical facilities within Dubai Healthcare City
  • Ensuring clinical facilities have the appropriate mechanisms for monitoring, evaluating and improving the quality of the healthcare they provide
  • Assisting Healthcare Operators (HCOs) and clinical facilities in Dubai Healthcare City in improving healthcare quality standards when they are not being met
  • Sustaining continuous improvement of healthcare quality and patient safety in Dubai Healthcare City over time
  • Developing rules, policies, standards and guidelines
  • Delivering educational programs that meet th​e needs of the Dubai Healthcare City Healthcare Operators (HCOs) to improve healthcare quality and patient safety

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Compliance and Assurance

The compliance and assurance department aims to regulate Dubai Healthcare City by overseeing the compliance and enforcement of policies, standards, rules and regulations.

Customer Protection Unit

The department considers any complaint against healthcare professionals, Complementary and Alternative Medicine professionals, healthcare operators, research operators and education providers in relation to activities carried out in DHCC.

Furthermore, the department reviews a complaint in which there were allegations that a Licensed Healthcare Professional had conducted an Inappropriate Professional Practice or Professional Misconduct.

In addition, CPU can also consider an interim order imposed against the Healthcare Professional whose License is the subject of an interim restriction or suspension or the Healthcare Facility's Clinical Operating Permit or both imposed by the chairperson of the Complaints Committee in order to meet the Required Standard of Competence To make a decision whether there was no an Inappropriate Professional Practice (IPP) or Professional Misconduct (PM) and therefore, dismiss the complaint , or that there is an Inappropriate Professional Practice or Professional Misconduct and therefore, impose appropriate disciplinary actions which could be one of the following:

  • Letter of advice to the Facility and/or the Physician
  • Letter of warning to the Facility and/or the Physician
  • Suspend DHCC clinical privileges for certain period of time for the Facility and/or the physician.
  • Impose conditions or restrictions on a Licensed Respondent's Clinical Operating Permit of the Facility.
  • Remove or modify conditions or restrictions previously included in a Licensed Respondent's Clinical Operating Permit.
  • Impose a Penalty in accordance with the schedule of prescribed fines issued by the Registry of Companies.
Please Click​ here for the Complaints For Public Process.​
Please Click​ here for the Complaints Management Policy and Procedure​. 

Labor Disputes:

Labor law issues in the UAE are governed by United Arab Emirates (UAE) Federal Law No. 8 of (1980), the Labour Law and its Amendments. Dubai Healthcare City Authority (DHCA) represented by Dubai Healthcare City Authority - Regulatory (DHCR), the independent regulatory body has developed Policy and Procedure for Labor Disputes Management within DHCC.

The Customer Protection Unit (CPU) is responsible for the management of all labor disputes cases received in line with applicable rules and regulations.
The Policy and Procedure for Labor Disputes Management applies to all employee and license holder working within DHCC.

Please Click​ here for the Labor Dispute​ Management Policy and Procedure​. 

Please Click​ here for the Labor Dispute Complaints Form.​


Inspection and enforcement:

Is the unit established within the Compliance and Assurance Department to undertake site inspections of Licensee premises and report to the Registry of Companies, or Fitness to Practice Panel any found activities that may be non- compliant with Standards, Rules and Regulations within DHCC. The aim of the visits is to monitor the facility/professional compliance with DHCA policies, standards, rules and regulations

The types of inspection can either be:

a) Planned Inspection. An unannounced on-site visit to a Licensee conducted by the Compliance & Assurance Department in order to review compliance with the DHCA Rules, Regulations and Standards. This inspection is conducted annually and as planned by the inspectors;

b) Ad hoc Inspection. An unannounced on site-inspection to a Licensee conducted in response to urgent situations; or

c) Follow-up Inspection. An unannounced on-site inspection to a Licensee in order to check the corrective actions are taken and the non- conformances are rectified.

Conformance or Non-Conformance/s statement:

After every inspection a clearance report will be communicated to the licensee or non-conformance report in which non-compliance to the DHCA regulations/Rules/Standards have been identified.​

Facility Justification/Response:

 The Licensee should respond, in writing to the inspection findings and submit a complete Corrective Action Plan/Response (if requested) within seven (7) days of the request.

Violation decision:

Failure of a Healthcare Operator or Professional to comply with relevant Regulations, Rules, Standards and Policies through its actions or inactions may result in the DHCR Registry of Companies taking disciplinary action.

Appeal process:

The facilities/professional may appeal to the Appeal Unit against violation decision in writing within thirty (30) days from the day of receipt of the violation letter. However, the outcome of the appeal decision is FINAL as per the appeals policy.

Please Click here for the DHCR Violations and Fines List.
Please Click​ here for the Violations Management Inspections​ Policy and Procedure​. 

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Government Service Operations (GSO)

​​​​​​​DHCR provides an outsourced visa service to all Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) licensees in line with their establishment entitlements. This includes interface with various departments and ministries of the Dubai Government (including the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs).

The Government Services office is located in Dubai Healthcare City, building 27, block B​, ground floor.

For further information on visa eligibility refer to the DHCC Visa Policy​.

List of Visa Services:

  • Visit Visas
  • ​Employment Residence Visas
  • Employment Release Transfers
  • Temporary work permits/li​censes
  • ID and Access Cards
  • Family Residence Visa
  • Housemaid Residence Visa
  • Student Resident Visa
  • Establishment Cards
  • ​Other Services:-
    • Residence Permits
    • Cancellations
    • Absconder Services
    • Transfers
    • Lost passport
    • Letters
    • Local Amendments
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Academic and Research

​​​The DHCR Academic and Research Department is responsible for supporting innovation in Education and research beneficial to public health and to support healthcare excellence and continuous improvement through the following roles:

  • Advice and support to potential and established customers seeking to be active in the fields of Education and Research in DHCC.
  • Educating the DHCC community on relevant regulatory infrastructure and compliance requirements
  • Issuance of Education and Research Permits, new, renewal and amendment for DHCC Licensed clinical and non-clinical operators.
  • Monitoring of Academic and Research outcomes and performance of operators
  • Review and approval of Accreditation of Continuing Professional Development programmes and other Educational Programmes.
  • Review, feedback and approval of Individual research programs/protocols through independent ethical review and DHCR Committees and Councils.
  • Influencing UAE wide regulatory frameworks to encourage risk proportionate and effective systems, policies and operations​.​


Research is essential for the advancement of medical knowledge, development of new treatments and delivery of efficient services for the health and wellbeing of patients, service users and the wider society.


Dubai Healthcare City Authority – Regulatory (DHCR) is responsible for regulating all aspects of research within the free zone.


It is mandatory to have a valid research permit to conduct research within DHCC.

For further information regarding requirements, processes, and procedures please refer to the Research Quick Reference Guide.


In addition, following are the forms required to acquire and maintain a DHCR Research Permit as well as submit a Research Protocol for review:

Health, Safety and Environment


The Health, Environment and Safety (HSE) Department at Dubai Healthcare City Authority – Regulatory (DHCR) plays a vital role in promoting the health and safety of all members of the Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) Community.

 

The HSE Department works closely with DHCC's clinical and non-clinical business partners to take proactive measures to prevent the occurrence of avoidable emergencies and incidents, and to maintain the highest safety standards, protecting employees, property and the environment.

 

The department, in its capacity as the free zone's oversight advisor, provides both regulatory as well as advisory services, facilitating a sustainable environment that fosters health, safety and wellbeing without compromising growth and development.

 

In line with federal, local and international principles and laws as well as fire and life safety statutory requirements, DHCR's HSE Department oversees compliance and enforcement of policies, standards, rules and regulations.

 

HSE regulates and enforces rules and regulations related to all aspects of health and safety including fire protection, fire prevention and fire emergency control, covering a wide scope of activities within the free zone's jurisdiction.

 

The HSE Department is the sole department handling notifications of dangerous occurrences and taking corrective action and assess the likelihood of recurrence in consultation with the business partner and relevant authorities.

 

All licensed partners or any individuals (contractors for example) working or operating within the DHCC free zone must comply with the regulations and guidelines set out by relevant authorities including Dubai Civil Defence (DCD) and Dubai Municipality.

 

It is the responsibility of all business partners to cooperate and comply with fire protection, fire prevention and fire/emergency control preventive and fire control measures as stipulated by DCD and any other relevant authority authorized to take full control of fire preparedness.

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DHCE's HSE strategic priorities are to:

  • Increase focus on work-related health risks to eliminate harm
  • Provide guidance on establishing fire and life safety frameworks
  • Develop a risk community profile of hazards
  • Establish key initiatives based on community activity
  • Generate seamless fire and lift safety programs in the free zone
  • Receive notifications of unsafe, dangerous occurrences and incidents relating to fire and life safety, and take necessary corrective action



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