Dubai Tourism: The City Aims to be a Top Medical Destination

The Dubai Executive Council has approved a strategy to make Dubai a leading healthcare destination.

Dubai has become a more attractive medical tourism destination in recent times. In fact, Dubai won the ‘Destination of the Year’ award at the 10th World Health Tourism Congress. Dr. Ahmed Bin Kalban, CEO of Hospital Services Sector at the DHA received the award.

Dr. Layla Al Marzouqi, Director of Health Regulation and the Medical Tourism Initiative in Dubai said that “Dubai’s attractiveness as a destination and the availability of high quality medical care are the key drivers of the medical tourism initiative.”

As reported in AME Info, Al Marzouqi pointed out that “Dubai attracted 260,000 medical tourists in the first half of 2015 and the revenues generated during this period exceeded one billion dirhams.”

Dubai’s government is continuing to support the future of medical tourism by investing a great deal in the sector. In fact, “by 2020, the emirate is anticipated to welcome more than 500,000 medical tourists and generate Dh2.6 billion in revenue, marking a 20 per cent growth over 2015,” told Linda Abdullah Ali, head of the medical tourism office at the health regulation department of the DHA, who made the statement to reporters at the 10th World Health Tourism Congress (WHTC) in Dubai.

Last September, key players in the Health Tourism Industry attended the 10th World Health Tourism Congress (WHTC), held at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Center (MBR-AMC) at Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), under the support, patronage and Sponsorship of Dubai Health Authority and Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).

The event enabled healthcare providers from around the world (approximately 1500 participants from 80 countries attended the conference) the chance to create business opportunities and form partnerships that would provide more novel medical centers of excellence with high quality medical care from trained professionals.

The event saw the participation not only of healthcare and health insurance providers, tourism promotion bodies, medical and health care regulators and tour operators, but also of ministers, senior government officials, medical and health experts and other tourism industry stakeholders.

The MBR-AMC in DHCC is the infrastructure in place to become a hub for world-class healthcare education in Dubai, UAE and the region.“DHCC is home to more than 130 medical centres and more than 5,000 health care professionals,” according to Al Sharaf. It is said to be the world’s largest health care free zone.

WHTC, which is the most established and longest running Health and Medical Tourism Event in the World, aims to promote and market health tourism both within the region and outside in discovering the availability of world-class tourist and medical infrastructures.

Taking place for the second consecutive year at the MBR-AMC in DHCC, the three-day congress addressed the “8 Health-related Tourism Segments” in Dubai, which include…

  • Medical Tourism
  • Dental Tourism
  • Spa Tourism
  • Wellness Tourism
  • Sports Tourism
  • Culinary Tourism
  • Accessible Tourism
  • Assisted Residential Tourism

Dubai’s medical tourism initiative, originally launched in 2012, is part of a strategy to improve quality in the healthcare sector while promoting medical tourism in the region with facilities designed to attract tourists looking for quality hospital services.

Patients can be issued proper visas and a choice of travel and accommodation packages, as mentioned in the International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ),  that will allow them to receive help covering costs of return flights, hotel expenses and the treatment, in some cases.

According to the Medical Tourism Destination Index (MTDI) that assesses the progress of countries over time, Dubai is well positioned at 17 thanks to the ‘vision’ of its Ruler to develop their medical tourism strategy with high quality services especially at rehabilitation facilities. However deciding factors are also low cost, English speaking medical staff, and virtually no queues for medical treatments.

Dubai Tourism: The City Aims to be a Top Medical Destination

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