The present study delineates improvement in the osteogenic and angiogenic properties of synthetic hydroxyapatite by dual doping of bivalent magnesium (Mg+2) and cobalt (Co+2) ions. The doped samples were prepared by ammoniacal precipitation method and characterized by Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES), X-Ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR) and Thermo Gravimetric Analysis (TGA). The study revealed that the extent of cobalt doping (ICP-OES analysis) was higher in comparison to magnesium. Doping of metal ions caused a slight distortion in the crystal structure (XRD analysis), increased apatite–water interaction (FT-IR) and decreased thermal stability (TGA analysis) of the hydroxyapatite. A preliminary evaluation showed that the doped samples had a significantly higher protein absorption capacity in comparison to pure hydroxyapatite. A detailed analysis pertaining to the bone cell (MG-63) compatibility and differentiation revealed that the doping significantly promoted cell proliferation and differentiation, as verified by Runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2) expression and in vitro nodule formation. When treated with doped samples, significant increase in intracellular hypoxia inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1α) expression was observed. That resulted in higher expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a key molecule that promotes angiogenesis. In conclusion, dual doping of magnesium and cobalt improves the osteogenic and angiogenic properties of hydroxyapatite and makes it a better biomaterial for bone tissue engineering. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and Techna Group S.r.l.