ABU DHABI - The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), Etihad Airways, and AD Ports Group, have entered a partnership to strengthen Abu Dhabi’s capabilities as a global pharmaceutical and life sciences distribution hub, leveraging its strategic location, lucrative investment opportunities and advanced logistics capabilities.

In the presence of Mansoor Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Chairman of DoH, the partnership was signed by Dr. Asma Ibrahim Al Mannaei, Executive Director of the Research and Innovation Centre at DoH, Khalifa Al Mahmoud, Acting Director of Investor Attraction at ADIO, Stanislas Brun, Vice President of Etihad Cargo, and Mansoor Al Marar, Vice President, Industrial Business Development at Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi (KEZAD Group), a subsidiary of AD Ports Group. The partnerships were signed during the BIO International Convention 2024 in San Diego, in the US.

In line with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, the strategic partnership is a pivotal step in Abu Dhabi's ongoing efforts to become a leading healthcare destination in the global healthcare landscape. The collaboration aims to create attractive value propositions for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical technology companies to establish their operations in Abu Dhabi by capitalising on DoH’s world-class regulatory framework, ADIO's attractive investment platform, Etihad Cargo's expertise in air freight, and AD Port Group’s robust logistics infrastructure.

Dr. Asma Ibrahim Al Mannaei, Executive Director of the Research and Innovation Centre at DoH, said, “Leveraging Abu Dhabi’s strategic location at the gateway to the MENA region, we are pleased to partner with world-class leaders in investment and logistics, offering advanced infrastructure with easy access to regional and global markets. This MoU reaffirms DoH’s commitment to leading the transformation of the regional healthcare ecosystem. Our vision is to create a healthcare environment where patients have access to the latest treatments and medical technologies. By establishing a robust healthcare and life-science distribution hub, we are poised to enhance healthcare outcomes and improve lives across the region. The establishment of this distribution hub will not only solidify Abu Dhabi’s position as a critical player in the global pharmaceutical industry, but also drive economic growth and job creation for Emirati citizens in the healthcare and logistics sectors.”

As part of the agreement, the entities will work together to ensure timely access to innovative healthcare products for patients across the region, enhancing Abu Dhabi’s role in global pharmaceutical supply chains. Aligned with the emirate’s economic aspirations, the collaboration is expected to attract significant investment in healthcare and logistics, promoting sustainable economic growth and diversification within the healthcare and life sciences sectors. The partnership also includes plans to support local manufacturing and packaging of pharmaceutical and biotechnology products, in addition to local capability enhancement.

BaDr. Al Olama, Director-General of ADIO, said, "Abu Dhabi has made supporting the healthcare and life sciences industry a strategic priority, benefiting our nation and the world. Today, Abu Dhabi stands as a leading hub in this field, with advanced infrastructure and supportive regulations enabling a vibrant community of health-tech companies. This partnership will drive further collaboration to expand the Abu Dhabi ecosystem and unlock new opportunities for the sector’s leading innovators and companies."

Stanislas Brun, Vice President of Etihad Cargo, said, "Etihad Cargo is committed to supporting Abu Dhabi's vision of becoming a global hub for healthcare and life sciences distribution. This MoU, in partnership with the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, ADIO and KEZAD, is a major step towards enhancing the UAE's strategic importance in the global pharmaceutical supply chain and ensuring greater access to innovative healthcare products for patients in the region and beyond. We are closely working with the relevant stakeholders to ensure the development of our dedicated healthcare and life sciences PharmaLife product matches the industry and regulations requirements."

Mansoor Al Marar, Vice President, Industrial Business Development at KEZAD Group, said, "At KEZAD Group, we are thrilled to be part of this landmark agreement. The collaboration between the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, ADIO, Etihad, and AD Ports Group represents a significant step forward in establishing Abu Dhabi as a premier global hub for pharmaceutical and life sciences distribution. This partnership will enhance Abu Dhabi's regional and global competitiveness and ensure timely access to innovative healthcare products by leveraging KEZAD Group's strategic location, world-class logistics infrastructure, and robust investment environment. We are committed to supporting this initiative and playing a pivotal role in transforming Abu Dhabi into a leading destination for healthcare and life sciences industries."

Led by DoH, a high-profile Abu Dhabi delegation headed by Mansoor Ibrahim Al Mansoori, Chairman of DoH, had visited the US from 29th May to 5th June 2024 to showcase the emirate’s partnership opportunities and explore collaboration with leading organisations in research and development (R&D), manufacturing and innovation. Starting in Philadelphia, delegates met with existing and new partners to foster collaboration with leading education research institutions, governmental bodies and health-tech giants. The transnational mission has culminated in San Diego, coinciding with Abu Dhabi’s participation at BIO International Convention 2024 to exhibit the emirate’s growth and development of its biotechnology industry. The participation has witnessed in-depth discussions, shared insights and expertise, as well as explored collaborations in health-tech, life science and innovation.