From manufacturing blood plasma to 3D implants to genome sequencing, Dubai has it all chalked out until 2030.
Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, executive director at Dubai Science Park and chairing member of the pharmaceutical and medical equipment task force, entrusted with the delivery, explained what the future of the medical sector will be like.
“A one year study was done to assess the sectors that are suitable and make sense for Dubai and six sectors were chosen namely aviation, maritime, FMCG, pharma and medical devices and aluminum and heavy metals,” he said.
The strategy is also expected to offer 27,000 jobs. He said the sectors were further divided into two groups such as existing industrial activities like aluminum and heavy metals, maritime and other three as upcoming sectors.
“The market has been growing year on year over the past 10 years. We needed to choose some sectors that are actually growing and are easy to implement here and basically that Dubai has the right elements for these sectors,” he added.
In a study, the task force looked at sectors that they wanted to attract but are not ready today. Even though generics are already being manufactured in Dubai, super generics too can carry a Made in UAE label.
“For example paracetamol is a generic but we can make paracetamol a super generic by using a different delivering mechanism such as a spray in the mouth or a patch. Basically, the existing generic formulas are innovated,” he said.
At present, Korea and India are the leading players in these sectors. Currently, 75 per cent of blood plasma products are manufactured in the US and Europe. With no production facilities in the region, the Middle East and Africa rely entirely on imports and run the risk of shortages in supply.
Next generation sequencing, genetic testing and personalised medicine are among the long term plans. Along with developing the sectors, the task force is also focusing on talent development.
Since Dubai is focusing on medical tourism for the coming years, Janahi said that the plan fits in well with the 3D implants. He said that a big part of medical tourism is focused on cosmetics.