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UAE Introduces Stricter Laws and Enhanced Penalties for Unlicensed Healthcare Professionals: An Overview

The UAE government has introduced stricter penalties for unlicensed health profession practice through new federal laws. These amendments focus on regulating health professions, private health institutions, and the veterinary sector. Stricter actions will be taken against unlicensed practice and failure to meet professional standards, emphasizing ethics and responsibilities. Disciplinary actions will be adjusted based on the nature of the violation. Guidelines for non-physician health workers are also outlined, affecting areas such as nursing, medical laboratories, physiotherapy, and more. The law applies to those without licenses or fraudulent documents.

Let’s delve into the key changes and implications of these new regulations.

Requirements for Professional Licensing

The law mandates that practicing a health profession necessitates obtaining a license from the health authority, in accordance with this law, its executive regulations, and related decisions. To acquire a license:

  • An individual must hold a recognized academic degree or qualification in the specific health field from within the UAE.
  • Good moral character and medical fitness are prerequisites for professional duties.
  • Compliance with health practitioner licensing standards as set by the Council of Ministers is essential.

Additional licensure conditions may be outlined in the law’s executive regulations.

The Licensing Process and Restrictions:

The Ministry of Health and Prevention and other health authorities are responsible for receiving and evaluating license applications. The legislation strictly prohibits certain practices, including the sale of medicines or samples to patients, promotion of medicines, and directing patients to specific pharmacies.

Integrity and Confidentiality

The law enforces honesty by prohibiting the submission of false documents or information to health authorities or employers. Patient confidentiality is paramount, preventing health practitioners from disclosing patient-related information obtained during their professional practice.

Key Highlights of the New UAE Healthcare Regulations

The UAE government’s recent implementation of new healthcare regulations brings significant changes across various areas of the sector. Here are the noteworthy highlights of these laws:

  • Regulation of Diverse Healthcare Professions

The revised regulations extend to encompass a wide range of health disciplines, including nursing, medical laboratories, medical physics, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, cosmetology, anesthesia, audiology, and medical radiology. This comprehensive approach ensures that all facets of the health sector are subject to the same high standards of professionalism and ethics.

  • Enhanced Penalties for Unlicensed Practice

The law imposes strict penalties for those falsely claiming to be licensed professionals, whether through leaflets, signs, or other means, intending to deceive the public. Penalties include potential imprisonment and fines ranging from Dh50,000 to Dh100,000. Guilty parties may face license revocation, removal from the professional registry, and potential closure of their establishment.

Individuals meeting health profession license criteria but practicing or promoting services without the official license face fines of Dh10,000 to Dh100,000. The court can shut down the involved establishment. Healthcare practitioners licensed before the new rules must update their status within their license period or within six months of the law’s effective date.

  • Upholding Professional Conduct

The revised legislation underscores the importance of professional conduct among non-physician health workers. These guidelines extend across various disciplines and stress the need for adherence to ethical standards and patient confidentiality. Professionals are expected to stay updated on federal and local legislation, maintain their personal and professional development, and treat all patients with respect and dignity.

  • Updated Disciplinary Measures

The regulations also introduce updates to disciplinary penalties, aligning them with the severity of committed violations. Furthermore, the laws address the continuous operation of private healthcare facilities, which are required to consistently provide high-quality healthcare services to their patients.

  • Establishment of a National Registry

A pivotal development is the creation of a national registry that compiles information about licensed healthcare professionals across the country. This centralized repository streamlines the verification of professionals’ credentials and ensures the transparency and authenticity of the healthcare workforce.

  • Encouraging Foreign Investment in the Veterinary Sector

The new regulations display a forward-looking approach by allowing entrepreneurs and foreign investors to establish and own veterinary facilities in the UAE. This move is set to boost the influx of foreign investments into the veterinary sector, contributing to its growth and development.


The UAE’s updated regulations on health professions and the veterinary sector underscore the government’s commitment to ensuring high ethical and professional standards among practitioners. With harsher penalties for unlicensed practice and a focus on upholding integrity, these changes aim to safeguard public health and improve the overall quality of healthcare services in the nation.

HHS Lawyers: Your Compliance Partners in UAE Healthcare

In the midst of UAE healthcare changes, HHS Lawyers in Dubai are here to help. We understand the new rules and offer clear legal advice to healthcare providers, private facilities, and vet sector investors. Count on us to guide you through regulations, ensure compliance, and bolster the UAE’s healthcare progress. With us, you’ll achieve top-notch care and regulatory alignment.

Hazim Darwish

Hazim Darwish, is a Senior Partner of HHS Lawyers in UAE. Practicing law for almost a decade, he has in-depth knowledge on UAE legislation with particular expertise on legal drafting, contract drafting, labor disputes, family law, and regulatory compliance for business organizations. Hazim Darwish also provides counsel on legal rights and obligations in the UAE to clients, including individuals and businesses subject to investigation or prosecution under Criminal Law by major regulators.