How to Start a New Dental Clinic in Dubai?

How to Start a New Dental Clinic in Dubai?


Dubai has a population of 3.33 million, and dental healthcare needs are not confined to age or gender. Everybody needs quality dental healthcare. There were more 134,000 instances of dental caries and 85,000 instances of periodontitis reported during 2017, and yet, there were only 88 licensed dental clinics in Dubai as of 2018. The number of dentists licensed by the Dubai Health Authority was a mere 197 in 2019. It is estimated that demand for dental healthcare services would soar by 156%, come 2025.

There is a lot of demand, but this remains under-served. With the help of someone who specializes in business setup in Dubai, you could set up a dental clinic in Dubai and take advantage of the demand for dental healthcare services in Dubai. With every resident of the United Arab Emirates having health insurance, the demand is for high quality dental healthcare. A root canal treatment in Dubai can cost as much as AED 5000, so it is not hard to see why annual revenues could be seven figures at the end of the year.

How to Open a Dental Clinic in Dubai

Your dental clinic in Dubai can be on the mainland or in the Dubai Health Care City free zone. You need to lease appropriate space for your dental clinic in Dubai. The dental room in the clinic must have a minimum area of 150 square feet. You must also have a separate waiting area for males and females in your dental clinic, in addition to having separate restrooms for both genders. There must also be a reception area and a space for storing patient records.

This is where the services of a business setup consultant can come in handy. He/She can help you find the right space for your dental clinic in Dubai. He/She would also be able to let you know of other restrictions, such as how a commercial space classified as warehouse cannot be used for starting your dental clinic in Dubai. The dental clinic must have all the requisite dental equipment and supplies. It must also have adequate ventilation to remove any odours or fumes.

You need to lease space and come up with a layout for your dental clinic in Dubai. This plan is to be submitted to the Department of Economic Development, Dubai along with the company formation documents and the Lease Agreement. If everything is in order, you can expect to be granted a Business License for your dental clinic in Dubai. After your application for a dental clinic has been approved, you can apply for a license to practice as a dentist at your dental clinic in Dubai.

A business setup consultant can help you draw up the company formation documents and get them notarized so that they become legally valid in the United Arab Emirates. He/She will also help you register the Tenancy Agreement entered into with the landlord of the premises (if on the mainland) so that it becomes a legally binding Tenancy Contract or Ejari. Your business setup consultant can then lodge the application, replete with all the paperwork, your behalf.

If everything is in order, your Business License is granted in a matter of days.

How to Get a License to Practice as a Dentist in Dubai

The United Arab Emirates has extremely high standards when it comes to the quality of healthcare, and this includes dental healthcare. The Dubai Health Authority is the Government authority that licenses dentists to work in Dubai. To be a licensed dentist in Dubai, you must hold one of the following educational qualifications

  • Bachelor of Dental Surgery(BDS)
  • Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)
  • Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD)
  • Equivalent educational qualification from a dental school or college that is nationally accredited

There are also other conditions, such as

  • The applicant must hold a valid license to practice and registration in his/her home country or country of current / last employment.
  • The applicant must have completed a year of internship after graduating his/her course.
  • The applicant must hold two years of clinical experience after his/her internship
  • If evidence of the internship cannot be provided, the applicant must hold an additional two years of clinical experience.

In case the applicant holds a Dental Specialty certificate, it must meet one of the following conditions:

  • The Dental Specialty Certificate must be a Clinical Master degree of minimum two years full-time course duration
  • The Dental Specialty Certificate must have been obtained after a full-time structured clinical residency program that has a minimum course duration of three years
  • The Dental Specialty Certificate can be a Clinical PhD for which the course duration was a minimum of three years
  • Any Dental Specialty Certificate with a stated validity period may be accepted only if it is valid at the time of application.
  • If the educational qualification was awarded by a dental college or medical university in the United Arab Emirates, both the institution and the program must be accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

Prior to drawing up the company formation documents, a business setup consultant can also run a search to see if the name you have in mind is available. A business setup consultant can also reserve the trade name, so that when you apply for company registration, it will be granted to you and not anyone who applied for the same name before you. A business consultant can also get the company formation documents notarized by a Notary Public so that they become legally valid in the United Arab Emirates.

List of Recognized Dental Specialties in Dubai

The following are the approved areas of dental practice that are recognized by the Dubai Health Authority

  • Dental Radiology
  • Endodontics
  • Forensic Dentistry
  • Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Oral Medicine
  • Oral Surgery
  • Orthodontics
  • Paediatric Dentistry
  • Periodontics
  • Primary Care Dentistry
  • Prosthodontics
  • Restorative Dentistry

If your educational qualification meets the criteria mentioned above and/or your area of dental practice is in a recognized Dental Specialty in Dubai, you have to take the DHA licensure examination in order to be granted a license to practice as a dentist in Dubai.


Those who have cleared the National Board Dental Examination in the United States are exempted from the licensure examination if they intend to practice in the Dubai Health Care City free zone. Those who have cleared the Dental Council Examination, Ireland are also exempt under the same condition, as are those who are certified by the National Dental Examining Board of Canada. Those accredited by the Australian Dental Council also receive an exemption from the DHA licensure examination.

However, these exemptions do not stand if the dentist intends to practice on the mainland [this is the part of Dubai that does not come under the Dubai Health Care City free zone].

The DHA licensure examination can be taken online. It is administered by global testing agency Prometric and the online examination can be taken at an approved Prometric Test Centre. The examination consists of 100 multiple-choice questions, which are to be completed in 150 minutes or 2.5 hours. Your slot will be of three hours duration, and the additional half-hour is for the time that will be taken to verify your identity and get ready for the examination.

The DHA licensure examination has a difficulty level commensurate with the skills and knowledge as would be expected of a dental graduate that has had at least one year of training after completing his/her course. It tests clinical diagnosis, clinical application of dental science, and management. Test results are provided in ten days and valid for 24 months.


You are scored on a scale of 100, and you need 60 points to clear the DHA licensure examination. If you fail to clear the examination on your first attempt, you are allowed to take it again up to a maximum of three times in total. If you fail in all three attempts, you are not allowed to attempt the DHA licensure examination again. It is to be kept in mind that a DHA license allows you to practice as a dentist only in Dubai and not elsewhere in the United Arab Emirates. Separate licensure examinations exist for the other emirates.

Once you have cleared the DHA licensure examination, you can start the process of applying for a DHA license, uploading all the relevant documentation such as your educational qualification(s), your academic transcripts (or marksheets as applicable), your registration and license to practice in your home country or country of current / last employment, as well as a Certificate of Good Standing that is not older than six months at the time of application and a copy of your passport.

The verification of these documents should take about two months to be completed, although it may take longer for some countries. If you are a Dental Specialist and not a General Dentist, you may have to take a verification exam. The verification exam is an oral examination conducted by a panel of DHA specialists who practice in the same area of dental specialty as the applicant. This is to verify the competency of the applicant, and should not pose a problem for an experienced dental specialist.

Upon being granted your DHA license, you can proceed to setting up your dental clinic, furnishing it and installing the latest dental equipment. You can also purchase medical and non-medical supplies for your dental clinic in Dubai. You can also hire staff for your dental clinic in Dubai. This may include a receptionist, other general dentists or dental specialists who have cleared the DHA licensing examination for dentists, and/or assisting personnel.

All dentists in Dubai are bound by a Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. In the United Arab Emirates, all patients are to be treated with respect. They must be provided with the full information about the treatment procedure to be carried out. They must also be allowed to accept or decline any service. All assisting personnel at the dental clinic in Dubai must be fully qualified and trained for the duties they perform. They must additionally have knowledge of basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR.

Why Choose A&A Associate LLC for Opening a Dental Clinic in Dubai?

At A&A Associate LLC, we have years of experience with company setup in Dubai. Our team of experts has been handpicked for their expertise in various fields such as Business Consulting, Tax Advisory, Legal, and Corporate Finance. You can be assured that with us, your dream of opening your own dental clinic in Dubai will be in safe hands. For more details, please call +971 56 408 6728 or send us a message using the form below.

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