Dubai: Dubai governement has formed Dubai Healthcare City Authority (DHCA) to oversess the Dubai Healthcare City, it was announced on Wednesday.
According to a press release by the Dubai Government Media Office, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has issued Law No. 9 of 2011 establishing a public authority DHCA to oversee Dubai Healthcare City.
The law sets out the functions and responsibilities of the DHCA and outlines its organisational structure, financial resources and regulatory framework. The new legislation also defines the authority's responsibilities and activities within the free zone, as well as its licensing procedures.
Wife of Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, has been appointed as president of the authority, which will enjoy financial and administrative autonomy, with full legal capacity to achieve its objectives.
The law specifies Dubai Healthcare City's objectives, which include promoting Dubai as a global medical and healthcare hub. Further provisions see the healthcare facility assume contribution in enhancing the quality of medical services at local, regional and global levels, in addition to attracting top quality healthcare specialists and professionals.
Other objectives task Healthcare City with attracting drug manufacturers, research laboratories, pharmacies and a whole spectrum of healthcare sector businesses and complementing industries.
Further provisions in the law stipulate that the DHCA's mandate includes establishing, by itself or in partnership with other entities, top-tier medical colleges and universities, nursing schools and a wide range of research, diagnostic, rehabilitation, nutrition and physiotherapy centers. The authority will also oversee the creation and management of the necessary administrative infrastructure to support all activities and operations in Healthcare City.
The authority shall also provide a suitable environment to house the various medical and health service providers within the city, while supervising the working relationships between institutions based in Healthcare City and other external parties in cooperation with relevant government agencies.
The law grants responsibility to the authority to inspect facilities licensed to operate in its jurisdiction and tasks it with collaborating with other free zone areas in Dubai to enable its business partners to provide their services in these zones. Furthermore, the authority will facilitate its partners in accessing a talent pool of professionals necessary to support their operations.
Under the new legislation the DHCA will assume responsibility for imposing and collecting fees for services rendered. The authority will also oversee all transactions involving lands within Healthcare City, including matters pertaining to the ownership, sale, leasing and mortgaging of properties and facilities under its ownership. The authority shall also cooperate with other local and foreign institutions in the field of medical care, and may obtain loans and credit from financial institutions, both locally and internationally, to achieve its objectives.
According to the law, the authority's board of directors will comprise of its president, vice-president and a minimum of seven members who will be appointed by the president. Membership of the board will be for three years subject to renewal. The authority's executive body will consist of an executive director appointed by the president and a number of administrative staff and finance professionals.
The authority's financial and accounting records will follow best international accounting practices and will be inspected by the Financial Audit Department, as well as another certified auditing company to be appointed by the authority's board of directors.
Tax and customs exemptions
The law sets out the tax exempt status of employees and institutions within Dubai Healthcare City, which includes exemptions on income earned with respect to operations within the city. Institutions are also exempted from any restrictions regarding the transfer of capital, profits or wages in any currency to all destinations outside the city. Tax exempt status is granted for a period of 50 years, with the renewal for a similar period subject to the approval of the authority's president.
Entities licensed by the authority will also be exempted from customs duties relating to all products and goods that are developed, manufactured, imported or used in the city. On the other hand, products and goods exported from the city for the first time will be subject to standard levies. Funds or activities related to organisations operating in Healthcare City will not be subject to any measures restricting private ownership.
Organisations' or individuals' operations within the jurisdiction of the DHCA will not be subject to the laws and regulations of Dubai Municipality, the Dubai Department of Economic Development or other subdivisions of those departments. However, laws and regulations concerning public health, safety and environment are not included in the above provision and will apply to all entities and individuals working in Healthcare City.
The law also states that the Government of Dubai will not be responsible for any debts or obligations of third parties associated with the authority, Healthcare City or its affiliates, and that the authority will be solely responsible for its debts and obligations.
Licensing and accreditation of all entities operating within Dubai Healthcare City will be governed by the authority's laws and regulations. The law forbids activities that violate any of Healthcare City's existing regulations or involve unfair competition. Activities that are not compatible with general laws of the United Arab Emirates or are considered as morally or socially offensive are also outlawed. Licenses issued by the authority may not be transferred to a third party without obtaining prior approval from the authority.
All staff and responsibilities of Dubai Healthcare City will be moved under the authority. Law No.9 of 2011 will replace Decision No.9 of 2003 and will supersede any provision in other legislation to the extent that it contradicts the provisions of this law.
The law is effective from its date of issuance and shall be published in the Official Gazette