By Andy Sambidge
Shurooq CEO sees 'significant' growth as emirate plans to build healthcare city project
Sharjah's healthcare sector is expected to grow by 9.3 percent over the next four years, according to a new study released by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq).
Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq, said the sector would be worth more than AED6.5bn by 2016, up from just over AED4.5bn this year.
"This sector is expected to grow significantly, powered by several giant projects and state-of-the art medical facilities currently being set up in the emirate, most notably the Sharjah Healthcare City (SHCC)," Al Sarkal added.
"With various new projects in the stage of planning and execution, while many others are in the pipeline, Sharjah's healthcare sector is set to witness a major boom in the months and years ahead," he said.
The study divided the healthcare sector into two-sub sectors - healthcare services and pharmaceuticals.
It said demand for healthcare services is estimated at AED2.7bn in 2012, with pressure growing on the emirate's 15 hospitals accommodating 898 beds.
With the emirate's growing population, it is estimated that Sharjah will require additional 633 beds over the next five years.
It also showed that there are only eight pharmaceutical manufacturers in the UAE, including one in Sharjah and 275 pharmacies in the emirate, adding that more were needed.
Operations at the new Sharjah Healthcare City (SHCC) are set to start in early 2013, a senior health official said in October.
The project, whic aims to establish Sharjah as the most sought after destination for healthcare services in the region, will spread across 2.4 million sq m.
Sharjah Healthcare City will offer 100 percent foreign owned investment opportunities for small, medium or larger hospitals, poly clinics, laboratories, rehabilitation centres, wellness centres, residential units, health clubs, consultancy offices, storage and production units of healthcare equipments and accessories.