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Mon 20 Jul 2009 11:49 AM

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Dubai pharmacy firm plans UAE and Saudi expansion

Planet Pharmacy plans to launch 250 stores in UAE and more than 500 in Saudi by 2012.

Dubai-based Planet Pharmacy is to launch 250 pharmacies across the UAE and more than 500 in Saudi Arabia by 2012.

The company, which is a joint venture between Julphar and the private equity division of Global Investment House, said this will make it the largest pharmacy chain in the Middle East.

The first 10 pharmacies, called Health First, are due to open in Dubai and Abu Dhabi by December.

“Our main aim to begin with will be to build trust in the communities in which we are a part of and serve,” said John Makepeace, chief executive of Planet Pharmacy.

Planet Pharmacy has been running a test Health First store in Fujairah since the beginning of the year and already operates 130 pharmacies and clinics under various names. These will eventually be re-branded.

“Whilst we will be providing advice and support on health issues such as Type 2 Diabetes, Asthma and nutrition, we also see ourselves quickly becoming a critical link in the chain when it comes to the local community’s overall healthcare needs and requirements,” Makepeace added.

The company is planning a GCC-wide expansion and said it is eyeing opportunities in Egypt, Lebanon, Kuwait and Jordan.

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