Dubai remains a preferred destination for health tourists


DUBAI — The Dubai Health Authority recently revealed that the emirate welcomed over 337,011 health tourists in 2018, which resulted in over AED1.163 billion worth of medical expenditures from visiting international health tourists over the same period. The strong performance figures were announced during the Dubai Health Authority’s successful participation at the recently concluded Arabian Travel Market (ATM), the leading travel and tourism event in the Middle East, which took place at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from April 28 to May 1, 2019.

The emirate’s excellent hospitality services and robust aviation sector continues to attract tourists from key source markets and provides an ideal platform for the emerging global market of health-conscious travelers. A total of 33 percent of the international patients came from the Arab and GCC countries, while 30 per cent were from Asia and 16 percent from Europe. The greatest number of visitors from Arab & GCC countries were from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. In Asia, India, Iran and Pakistan were the topmost visitors, while nationalities from Italy, UK and France led the ranks from Europe. Wellness specialty is gaining popularity among Asians, followed by Arabs and European nationalities. Africa also came across as is rapidly developing source market attracting health tourists primarily for dental and orthopedic treatments.

The key specialties attracting the health tourism are Dental, Orthopedic, Dermatology Ophthalmology, Health and wellness, Aesthetics and Fertility. Key specialties continue to show growth trends, with dental tourism highlighting increased popularity and accounting for 46%, Orthopedic (18%) and Dermatology (10%) of the total international health tourist availing services for various specialties.

Beside the growth in the numbers of health tourists, there has been a 9% growth in the number of healthcare facilities vetted and included in the health tourism DXH Group member program., the electronic portal for Health tourism lists over 600 packages from 72 healthcare facilities that includes 18 Hospitals and 54 specialties centers.

Dr. Marwan Al Mullah, CEO Health Regulation Sector, DHA, said “the positive trends in both medical tourism and wellness tourism in Dubai continues to present huge potentials for growth. Through the continued efforts of the government and the private sector – Dubai continues to establish a positive appeal for health tourism in Dubai.”

“The adaptation of latest innovation in the field of stem cell and regenerative medicine, 3 D printing will continue to surge the growth of number of health tourists coming to the Emirates. DHA’s new and simplified health care licensing procedures will encourage more investment flow to the health sector in Dubai and will continue to attract highly qualified medical professionals from around the globe. This will encourage health tourists from the region to access world-class services and innovative technology provided by the finest healthcare professionals in close proximity instead of travelling miles for the same.” He added

In a bid to strengthen their position in the Health tourism market, health tourism department participated in a number of global events, roadshows and organized FAM trips along with member health care facilities.

Ms. Linda Abdullah Ali Ruhi, Consultant Health tourism department, said, “Our focus is to create an experience in the health delivery standard, integrate and package medical and wellness services and open new markets for Dubai. Key destination focused campaigns; partnerships with the key stakeholder with in the health and wellness space have supported the growth in the sector. The department is actively promoting its #DXHWellness campaign aimed at encouraging a healthy and holistic lifestyle.” — SG