Dubai sees surge in medical tourists

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Dubai received 630,000 international health tourists in 2021, according to a report released by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) during the ongoing Arabian Travel Market.

Spending of international patients reached nearly AED730 million in the past year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report indicated that a majority of the health tourists who came to Dubai were from Asian countries, accounting for 38 per cent of the total, whereas 24 per cent were from Europe and 22 per cent from Arab and GCC nations.

Fifty-five per cent of the international health tourists were men and 45 per cent were women.

Almost 70 per cent of treatment given to international health tourists was provided at multidisciplinary clinics, 16 per cent at hospitals, and 14 per cent at one-day surgery centres.

The three medical specialties that attracted the most health tourists were dermatology (43%), dentistry (18%), and gynecology (16%).

Other medical specialties included orthopedics, plastic surgery, ophthalmology, health and wellness, and fertility treatments.

"Dubai’s emergence as a global health tourism destination reflects the high efficiency and capabilities of the emirate’s health infrastructure and facilities and the safe and high-quality multidisciplinary care it offers," said Awadh Seghayer Al Ketbi, Director General of the Dubai Health Authority.

He added that a large number of health tourists visiting Dubai came from countries with a long history in the medical sector, reflecting the high level of healthcare development achieved by the emirate, across governmental, private or multinational institutions and its competencies in diverse medical specialties.

Al Ketbi praised the close cooperation between the private and government health sectors based on a common vision to provide the highest quality of medical care and ensure Dubai is at the forefront of global cities in the field of medical tourism.

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