International visitors are flocking to Dubai to make use of the emirate’s world-class medical services.Recent research suggests that the UAE will welcome some 11.2 million healthcare tourists by 2010, bringing £966 million of revenue to the region. And the majority of these visitors are expected to be treated in Dubai, which has pioneered the expansion of its medical tourism industry in line with plans to diversify its economy as outlined in the Strategic Plan 2015.
With globally acclaimed facilities - predominantly housed in the bespoke Dubai Healthcare City - the emirate offers comparatively low-cost treatments. Procedures range from the cosmetic through to other complex specialised surgeries, and are carried out by world-class medical professionals. It is little wonder that treatment in the emirate is in such high demand. Furthermore, patients seeking medical care in Dubai need not endure the inordinately long waiting times which are associated with other national health services, instead being promptly treated by highly qualified doctors who have been schooled at some of the world’s top medical teaching establishments.
Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), one of Dubai’s specialised ‘cities within a city’, is a £920 million development, and is set to be the largest international medical centre between Europe and Southeast Asia. Targeting the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, DHCC comprises medical teaching institutions, private hospitals and clinics, pharmaceuticals offices and research centres. DHCC was also built with the enhanced concept of medical tourism firmly in mind, with spas and rehabilitation centres offering a more holistic service, and patients and their guests able to recuperate in residential villas, apartments or 5-star hotels which have been developed around the peaceful environs of a beautifully scenic artificial lake.
Commenting on Dubai Healthcare City and the boom in the medical tourism industry in Dubai, Ian Scott, director of the UK and Ireland office of the Government of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, explained that “Diversification of the emirate’s economy is key to its success in positioning itself as one of the world’s leading destinations. Excellence in healthcare is a global concern and medical tourism is a booming industry worldwide. Dubai is pleased to have such a strong infrastructure in place, with top clinicians operating in highly specialised state-of-the-art facilities, to ensure that patient demand can be met and expectations exceeded at Healthcare City.”
And DHCC is continuing to expand, further fuelling the growing demand for treatment in the emirate, partnering with specialist research centres to provide world-class services for visiting patients. A case in point is the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Academic Medical Centre, which will set new benchmarks in healthcare excellence in the region, showcasing the latest advances in clinical care, educational resources for physicians, nurses and healthcare professionals alongside robust biomedical, clinical and health services research programmes.
Health continues to be a universal preoccupation, and Dubai is committed to attracting world-renowned specialists from around the globe to support the demand for high-quality, specialised medical care in the emirate.