Medical Tourism in Dubai Soaring to New Heights

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10/01/2014 | By: Kai Wade | Director of Communications & Social Media

Enlivened by its mesmeric views, man-made islands and the world’s tallest building, Dubai is towering over the medical tourism industry.

The United Arab Emirates is now a commonplace for individuals to combine the perfect luxurious getaway with high-end treatments — giving rivalry to other top medical tourism countries, such as Thailand, Mexico and India.

Attracting over 500,000 visitors, the Dubai Health Authority statuses the country will tally more than $700M to its economy by 2020. “The presentation and the aura are just as important as the quality of care we provide,” stated Michael Stroud, Chief Executive Officer of American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery Hospital, the largest of its kind in the Gulf region. He added, “We are capitalizing on Dubai’s luster.”

In an ambitious strategy that will include building 22 new hospitals and the employment of more than 3,800 private-sector healthcare staff in the next few years, Dubai is set to deliver golden opportunities in the medical tourism industry.

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For centuries — patients seeking services for plastic surgery, infertility, cancer-care, and cosmetic dentistry — have travelled to hot springs and seaside resorts in search of more affordable treatments and procedures.

“Tourists already come to Dubai for shopping, sight-seeing and luxury,” stated Raja Easa al Gurg, Deputy Chairperson of the Board Of Directors at Dubai Healthcare City, a sprawling 4 million square-foot health-care zone that’s home to two hospitals, and 120 outpatient medical centers and diagnostic laboratories. “We need to scale up our health-care industry anyway, as millions of people flood our city and Dubai becomes a major financial hub.”

Dubai Healthcare City representatives say its focus remains on elective surgeries and a plan to build a wellness center. The country is looking to improve its oncology and cardiology tourism sectors to keep locals from going abroad for more complicated procedures.

“With any new country, you basically build up your health system,” stated Amer Ahmad Sharif, Managing Director of the Education Division at Dubai Healthcare City. “No matter what you do, there will be some specialized types of care that you will not be able to cater for at a certain volume.”

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