Medical Tourism: From Luxury Hues to Surgery Suites – News
Unveiling the factors behind Dubai’s rise as a global epicentre for medical tourism, where excellence meets affordability
Dubai, the glittering jewel of the UAE, has emerged as a global epicentre for medical tourism, attracting patients from every corner of the world. This remarkable transformation from a desert city to a world-class medical hub can be attributed to a multitude of factors that converge to create a healthcare ecosystem of unparalleled excellence.
At the heart of Dubai’s booming medical tourism industry lies an unwavering commitment to excellence. The city boasts state-of-the-art healthcare facilities that rival the best in the world. Its hospitals and clinics are equipped with cutting-edge technology, staffed by renowned medical professionals, and adhere to stringent international quality standards, ensuring that patients receive world-class treatment and care.
One of the key drivers behind Dubai’s meteoric rise in medical tourism is affordability. Patients travelling to Dubai often find that the cost of medical procedures and treatments is significantly lower than in their home countries, without compromising on quality. This cost-effectiveness, coupled with the allure of a luxurious and welcoming environment, makes Dubai an enticing destination for those seeking medical care.
Additionally, Dubai’s strategic geographic location serves as a bridge between East and West, making it easily accessible to a vast population. The city’s exceptional connectivity through its world-class airports and modern infrastructure simplifies travel arrangements for patients and their families, further enhancing its appeal as a medical tourism destination.
Dubai’s Healing Oasis: 2022 Medical Tourism Boom Reaches Dh992 Million Milestone
Dubai saw remarkable growth in medical tourism in 2022 with 674,000 medical tourists spending Dh992 million in the year, reflecting an increase of Dh262 million from 2021.
According to a report issued by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), about 39 per cent of the medical tourists who came to Dubai were from Asian countries, 22 per cent from Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States and 21 per cent from Arab and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
Awadh Seghayer Al Ketbi, Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority, said Dubai’s ability to provide high-quality patient-centred medical care has accelerated its growth as an Arab, regional and international healthcare destination. Dubai’s strategic location, safety, exceptional infrastructure and world-leading amenities add to the factors that have raised its status as a medical tourism hub, he noted.
The three specialities that saw the highest number of medical tourists were dermatology (31 per cent), dentistry (24 per cent), and gynaecology (18 per cent). Medical tourists from Asia, Europe and Africa, including from GCC and Arab countries, also visited Dubai for treatment in the fields of orthopaedics, plastic surgery, ophthalmology, fertility treatments, hospitalisation and recovery.
Dubai’s government has played a pivotal role in fostering the growth of medical tourism. Initiatives such as the Dubai Health Experience (DXH) and the Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) free zone have been instrumental in promoting the city’s healthcare services on a global scale. These efforts have positioned Dubai as a centre for medical innovation and research, attracting both patients and medical professionals seeking collaboration and opportunities.
In conclusion, Dubai’s rise as a medical tourism destination can be attributed to its unwavering commitment to excellence, affordability, strategic location, and government initiatives. As it continues to invest in healthcare infrastructure and services, Dubai is poised to remain at the forefront of the global medical tourism industry, offering hope and healing to individuals worldwide.
According to Alisha Moopen, Deputy Managing Director, Aster DM Healthcare, the UAE’s commitment to deliver world-class healthcare services is a significant feature that distinguishes it from other medical tourism destinations.
When discussing the UAE’s exceptional healthcare infrastructure and the high quality of its medical services in comparison to other well-known medical tourism hotspots, she remarked: “Our healthcare institutions consistently adhere to international quality standards and accreditations, providing patients with access to world-class treatments. The presence of internationally acclaimed medical professionals, coupled with advanced medical technologies, empowers us to provide comprehensive, personalised, and innovative treatments across various medical specialties.”
Alisha Moopen, Deputy Managing Director, Aster DM Healthcare.
She further added that a notable statistic that highlights the UAE’s healthcare excellence is the impressive ratio of approximately 128 specialists per 100,000 population compared to the world average of around 30 specialists. “This exceptional concentration of medical expertise ensures that patients receive specialised care of the highest quality,” she said.
Akbar Moideen Thumbay, Vice-President, Thumbay Healthcare, indicates towards the UAE’s flexible visa policies that cater to medical tourists, allowing them to seek treatment without bureaucratic hurdles.
He further emphasised the influence of medical tourism on the UAE’s healthcare sector and overall economy has been substantial.”As international patients make UAE their destination-of-choice for medical treatments, it boosts the country’s healthcare infrastructure and thus enables continuous investments in advanced medical facilities and equipment. This economic flow also translates into job creation across the healthcare sector, from medical professionals to support staff, reducing unemployment rates.”
Akbar Moideen Thumbay, Vice-President, Thumbay Healthcare.
Moideen also highlighted that medical tourism has a wider impact that includes fostering growth in tourism-related industries such as hospitality, accommodation, and transportation, as patients often travel with companions. “This economic synergy not only promotes innovation and research within the medical field but also contributes to the UAE’s global reputation, aligning with the country’s broader diversification goals and strengthening its position as a multifaceted economic hub in the region.”
Dubai’s meteoric rise from a desert city to a world-class medical hub is powered by a commitment to healthcare excellence. Boasting cutting-edge facilities, renowned professionals, and stringent quality standards, Dubai has become a beacon of medical tourism. Continuing to invest in healthcare, the emirate remains a global medical tourism leader, offering healing and hope to people worldwide.
As medical tourism continues to flourish in Dubai, it paints a future where individuals from every corner of the globe can access world-class care, where excellence knows no boundaries, and where health truly transcends borders. The journey of medical tourism is far from over; it’s a global voyage towards a healthier and more connected world, where quality healthcare is a universal right, not a distant dream.