UAE-based Ahalia Medical Group has signed an agreement with Sharjah Healthcare City (SHCC) to open a 100-bed general hospital. The new development is expected to be the first hospital to be established in the free zone. According to the SHCC administration, a number of enquiries have also been registered from overseas hospitals and medical groups interested in establishing operations in Healthcare City.
Founded in 1984, Ahalia Medical Group currently owns three existing hospitals, 14 medical centres, two specialised ophthalmology medical centres and more than 26 pharmacies across the United Arab Emirates. Ahalia Hospitals, accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI), USA, are located in the centre of Abu Dhabi city and in the Mussafah area of Abu Dhabi, The new Sharjah Healthcare City facility will be the group’s fourth hospital.
First announced in 2010, Sharjah Healthcare City is planned to be one of the largest healthcare centres in the Middle East covering an area of 2.43 million square metres (26 million square feet). The Ruler of Sharjah recently approved the master plan for the development, including the construction of the SHCC administration building, which will offer office space and units for health clinics.
Operating as a tax-free zone under the Sharjah Health Authority (SHA), Sharjah Healthcare City will offer state-of-the-art facilities for healthcare providers, allowing 100 per cent foreign ownership. SHCC is ideally located, adjacent to the Al Dhaid Road, close to Sharjah University City, Al Zahia residential community and Sharjah International Airport. The zone is also about 15 minutes drive from the centre of Sharjah city and 20-25 minutes drive to the new Tilal City residential development.
The health care sector has been identified as a focus for economic development by the Government of Sharjah, taking steps to help position the emirate as a centre for medical education, research and development, whilst developing the emirate as a destination for medical tourism. The recent introduction of new health insurance regulations has also helped accelerate private sector growth.
According to Sharjah Investment & Development Authority (Shurooq), Sharjah’s healthcare sector was worth some AED 7.35 billion (US$ 2b) last year and is expected to grow to AED 8.8 billion (US$ 2.4b) by the year 2019.
Source: Ahalia Medical Group, SHCC