Dubai Science Park supports the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Credit: Virax Biolabs.
Himalaya Wellness opened a state-of-the-art Global Research Centre at Dubai Science Park in December 2022. Credit: Photo: AETOS Wire.
DuBiotech comprises an area of approximately 30 million square feet. Credit: U_Photo via Shutterstock.
The Nucleotide building has four wings, A, T, C and G, which are named after the DNA nucleotide bases. Credit: TECOM Group PJSC.

Dubai Science Park (DuBiotech) is a science and business park located in Al Barsha, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), that supports the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

DuBiotech was officially launched in February 2005 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and Prime Minister of the UAE.

The project was a major part of the Dubai 2010 scheme, which aimed to place the city’s economy on a more knowledge-based footing. It was expected to attract more biotechnology and life sciences research, development and manufacturing to the country.

DuBiotech is a subsidiary of the government of Dubai’s holding company, Dubai Holding, and a member of Dubai Holding’s real estate unit, Tecom Investments.

The Dubai Science Park was set up under the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority. PMC Solutions FZCO was the strategic partner in the setting up of the DuBiotech park.

DuBiotech began operating with the Energy and Environment Park, EnPark, under a joint umbrella called Dubai Science Park (DSP), in October 2015. DSP houses more than 400 companies and 4,000 professionals.

Dubai Science Park details

DuBiotech is one of the free zones created in Dubai. It offers major tax advantages and services such as 50 years’ exemption from personal, income and corporate taxes, long-term land leases, full foreign ownership and state-of-the-art IT and telecommunications infrastructure.

The research park also offers full repatriation of profits, trouble-free incorporation with little formality, a government services division for registration, and fast-track immigration and customs procedures.

The DuBiotech entity has two operating arms. The first is the Foundation for Research and Innovation, which focuses on government-funded research and development (R&D) in areas such as medicine, genetics, agriculture and stem cell research. The second is a biotech cluster with high-quality infrastructure for incubators, research labs, manufacturing facilities and educational facilities.

The master plan for the park divides it into zones focusing on different areas, including R&D, manufacturing and commercial or office use. The plan was produced by Parsons and CHU2A.

DuBiotech consists of the DuBiotech Headquarters (Bio-HQ) and the Nucleotide Lab Complex, a large-scale, four-storey laboratory complex designed for company R&D use. The Nucleotide Lab Complex became operational in December 2009, while the Bio-HQ was completed in 2018.

DuBiotech project development phases

The first phase of DuBiotech was completed at the end of 2008. It saw more than 50 international life sciences companies register with DuBiotech as business partners. The companies included Genzyme, Pfizer, Merck Serono and Amgen.

The second phase included the completion of the Nucleotide Lab Complex and the Bio Headquarters towers. The Headquarters Complex includes two high-rise office towers, which offer standard and premium office spaces overlooking the Dubai skyline.

The 22-storied towers accommodate an innovation centre and retail facilities with parking facilities for 1,170 cars. The two towers are interconnected by an elegant structure called The Jewel.

The existing life sciences companies were also relocated to the new DuBiotech headquarters and labs during the second phase. In April 2009, Indian company VINS Bioproducts announced that it would set up its regional headquarters at DuBiotech. In May 2010, Spain-based Flores Valles Group established its Middle East subsidiary at DuBiotech.

DuBiotech helps in strengthening partnerships with governmental bodies in key areas such as regulatory affairs, federal and local policies, and academic projects.

Companies at the DuBiotech research park

Several companies have set up offices at DuBiotech to produce medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotech products.

Pharmax, a pharmaceutical company, opened its Dh125m ($34.03m) production facility at DSP in December 2018. US-based Global BioTherapeutics opened its regional headquarters at DSP in April 2019. DSP welcomed Norwegian chemical company Jotun Group to its R&D hub in December 2019.

In March 2020, UK-based digital health professional service consulting company Ideal Middle East instituted an office at DuBiotech as a base for its operations in the Middle East and North Africa region and to promote the regional healthcare industry’s digital transformation.

The Abu-Dhabi-based New Medical Centre Group established a biotechnology facility at the park. US-based company BioMedix set up a 47,232ft² facility at DuBiotech to manufacture in-vitro diagnostic equipment such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits, polymerase chain reaction requisites, run controls and proficiency panels.

A Swiss perfume and taste company, Firmenich, opened a new regional headquarters with a state-of-the-art Creation & Development Center at Dubai Science Park in March 2022.

Himalaya Wellness, a pharmaceutical company based in India, opened a state-of-the-art Global Research Centre at Dubai Science Park in December 2022.

In May 2023, Virax Biolabs Group announced the establishment of its regional headquarters at Dubai Science Park. The new headquarters in Dubai will allow the company to increase its distribution reach for high-quality in-vitro diagnostics, innovative products and proprietary T-Cell tests.

Innovate Life Sciences Lab opened a genomics testing lab in partnership with Wipro, a technology company based in India, at Dubai Science Park in January 2023.

UK-based pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca plans to open new sustainable offices in the park. The design, construction and materials used for the new offices will adhere to platinum standards in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) set by the US Green Building Council.

Other companies including BASF Construction Chemicals, a chemical manufacturer, CSL Behring, a biotechnology company, Boston Scientific, a biotechnology engineering company, Genesis Healthcare, a healthcare company, and pharmaceutical companies NewBridge Pharmaceuticals, Gabri Labs and Menarini have also expanded in Dubai Science Park.

Details of DuBiotech’s Nucleotide Lab Complex

Built over an area of 350,000ft², the Nucleotide Lab Complex comprises state-of-the-art laboratory buildings spanning four storeys, which were custom-built for industrial and scientific R&D, analytical testing, diagnostics, equipment training activities and after-sales services.

The complex was completed in 2009 with a capital expenditure of Dh289m ($68m). It received LEED certification in April 2010.

The core-and-shell lab is designed to serve the business sector by facilitating research and product development, diagnostics and testing. The space of the complex can accommodate up to 160 laboratory units designed to meet class III bio-safety standards and guidelines. The laboratory units have unique layout customisations with a biological safety cabinet and exhaust systems for air filtration. The air exhaust and ventilation systems were designed specifically to prevent cross-contamination between lab spaces.

The complex is also equipped with sterilised high-grade stainless steel mechanical equipment to ensure that all required standards of hygiene are met. The equipment features pH neutralisation systems and acid-resistant drainage, as well as a back-up power system.

The complex has four wings, A, C, T and G, which are named after the four nucleotides or bases that make up the structure of DNA. All four wings were booked at the time the complex became operational. Companies that agreed to relocate to the labs include MAQUET Middle East, a subsidiary of Sweden-based Getinge Group that produces operating room systems and ICUs, as well as Phase I of the National Reference Lab, an initiative by Mubadala Healthcare in association with Laboratory Corporation of America.

US-based construction company HDR developed the DuBiotech Nucleotide Lab Complex in partnership with Kling Consult, a German engineering company. The complex was designed by CUH2A, a scientific facilities designer. It features a pre-clinical vivarium and an animal testing laboratory spread across 10,000ft², among other amenities.

DuBiotech’s Neuro Spinal Hospital details

DSP added the state-of-the-art, next-generation Neuro Spinal Hospital to its premises in June 2021.

Developed with a Dh700m ($190.58m) investment, the hospital offers specialised care for neurosurgical, orthopaedic and radiosurgery treatments. It features 114 beds and unique treatment options, including the first robotic cyberknife and radiosurgery centre and the first brain surgical suite.

Holiday Inn Dubai Science Park details

Holiday Inn® Dubai Science Park located in Dubai Science Park is operated under a management agreement with an affiliate of the Rolaco Group.

The hotel has a total of 402 rooms and suites, featuring not only comfortable accommodations but also five meeting rooms and a conference hall with a capacity for 600 guests. It also provides four dining options, an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre.

Sustainable features of DuBiotech

One of the world’s largest LEED-certified buildings, the DuBiotech headquarters was built with 22 levels on a 60,000ft² area. The building was designed by CUH2A.

In 2007, DuBiotech won the Design and Sustainability Honour Award from the American Institute of Architects for the technologically complex headquarters. The building’s design is intended to reflect a DNA movement in gel electrophoresis, a technique commonly used in the industry. The two towers are flanked by a jewel case that contains the business centre and retail facilities.

The buildings have been situated and designed to make maximum use of natural light, as well as to minimise solar gain without resorting to more expensive AC cooling systems. The headquarters also has a 500,000ft² animal reserve.

Warehousing amenities and leasable land

The pre-built units are designed mainly for showrooms, distribution, storage, logistics and light manufacturing for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. With a focus on manufacturing research and development, the land can be leased by third-party investors.

The total leasable land area measures 8.2 million square feet, with flexibility in size, starting from 38,000ft².

in5 Centres

DSP’s in5 Centres offer furnished spaces that cater to small and medium-sized companies and start-ups. The park has three specialised innovation centres, namely in5 Tech, in5 Design and in5 Media, which collectively have supported more than 500 start-ups.

Located in Dubai Internet City, in5 Tech offers a variety of resources and amenities to its startups and members access to a creative workspace, tech facilities and event venues.

in5 Design is situated in the heart of Dubai Design District (d3) and is focused on nurturing talent in the field of design. It provides a creative workspace for designers, along with a unique prototyping lab containing tools and equipment that help designers create physical prototypes of their ideas, enabling them to refine and visualise their designs in a tangible manner.

in5 Media is a digital media hub that offers a workspace equipped with high-end media production facilities and equipment. The facilities may include professional cameras, sound recording equipment, green screens, lighting setups and more. Additionally, in5 Media provides screening rooms and editing suites, allowing media professionals to work on their projects from inception to final production.

The in5 Centres offer special training and mentorship programmes to investors, which aim to nurture ideas for business growth. The creative workspaces provide incubation space with an annual membership or equipment hire to support students and other entrepreneurs in working on their start-ups.