US's Gabri Labs to build $4.9m medical devices factory in Dubai Science Park

The new factory will localise production of medical devices and produce up to 12 million units a year

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 24 FEBRUARY 2021. Feature on Dubai Science Park district. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Nick Webster. Section: National.
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US pharmaceutical technologies company Gabri Labs has signed an agreement with Dubai Science Park to build a Dh18 million ($4.9m) factory to produce medical devices, as the UAE develops its domestic manufacturing industry.

Covering 10,000 square feet, the factory will produce up to 12 million units annually of Gabri Labs' pharmaceutical brands, with further expansions planned by 2023, Dubai Science Park said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly choosing our emirate as a destination to expand operations into the Mena [Middle East and North Africa] region, backed by an enabling business environment and regulatory framework,” Marwan Janahi, managing director of Dubai Science Park, said.

“Dubai Science Park strives to facilitate the expansion of international firms like Gabri Labs by continually providing them access to robust infrastructure, communication with key regulatory bodies and a collaborative ecosystem that eases business set-up and growth.”

The UAE's pharmaceutical market is expected to grow 27 per cent between 2021 and 2025, as the country pushes to become a regional pharmaceutical centre, Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ said in a report in February. The size of the local pharmaceutical market is expected to hit $4.7 billion by 2025, up three times from 2011, the report found.

The total number of pharma manufacturing units in the UAE reached 23 in 2021, up from four in 2010, with 14 producing medicines, four manufacturing medical devices and two focused on disinfectant solutions. There are now more than 2,500 medicines produced locally, the white paper said.

Last year, the UAE launched its “Operation 300bn” strategy with the aim of doubling the industrial sector's contribution to the country's gross domestic product by 2031. The strategy supports spending on local products and local suppliers, as well as promoting investment in research and development and incentivising adoption of advanced technology in the UAE.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, said in an April 4 interview with Wam that the Covid-19 pandemic brought to light the importance of empowering vital industrial sectors such as food, pharmaceuticals and defence, and stressed the significance of increasing the contribution of the industrial sector to the GDP.

Privately-held Delaware-based Gabri Labs, which has factories across Europe and the Middle East, is expanding in the region with its planned production centre in Dubai. The brand specialises in therapeutic ENT and dermatology products.

The medical devices will have the “Make it in the Emirates” label — a government-backed initiative to boost the local manufacturing industry — and will be distributed to markets across the Mena region.

The new centre in Dubai will support the production of multiple lines and a diverse product portfolio, which includes ENT brand OTOMAR, and dermatological solutions line Curadem, according to the statement.

“Our new centre will allow us to cater to more patients across the region,” Elio Gebrayel, managing director of Gabri Labs, said.

The factory will be constructed at Dubai Science Park, where more than 4,000 people work. It includes commercial spaces, a central headquarters, a laboratory complex and warehouses.

Updated: April 05, 2022, 12:27 PM