The first phase of Mubadala's National Reference Laboratory will be operational by the end of this year. Based in DuBiotech, the laboratory will service public and private hospitals across the UAE and the region. The first facility will predominantly service Dubai while the Abu Dhabi facility, which is expected to be ready next year, will act as the main hub of the project. According to Mubadala, it received significant interest in the laboratory's service from throughout the GCC since announcing the project in 2008. The facilities will be managed by LabCorp, a US-based laboratory network. "The demand for world-class, specialised healthcare services is growing rapidly in the UAE," said Mark Erhart, the executive director of Mubadala Healthcare. "Currently, a large number of samples are sent abroad for testing. Our goal is to develop the infrastructure and expertise in the UAE that will help reduce test turn-around times and associated costs, as well as delays to critical diagnoses and subsequent treatment for patients."