By Dr Thumbay Moideen
Dr Thumbay Moideen, founder president, Thumbay Group said healthcare's exemption from VAT once again emphasises the importance the country places on the health
Work on the 500-bed teaching hospital, 60-chair dental hospital and rehabilitation center in the Gulf Medical University campus, all under Thumbay Group’s Healthcare Division, are in the final stages of completion, slated for opening in early this year, writes, Dr. Thumbay Moideen, founder president, Thumbay Group
Our projects in Africa are also heading towards completion. New outlets of Thumbay Clinic, Thumbay Hospital Day Care Thumbay Pharmacy, Thumbay Labs, Nutri Plus Vita Stores, Zo & Mo Opticals, Blends & Brews Coffee Shoppe and Body & Soul Health Club & Spa will be opened in 2018.
In the longer term, according to our strategic plans, we aim to scale up our businesses ten times and establish global presence by increasing the employee strength to 25,000 by the year 2022.
The Thumbay academic hospital network will have a total of 1,000 beds in the UAE, 1,500 beds in India and 750 beds elsewhere in the Gulf and Africa by 2022, taking the total number of hospitals to 15 worldwide.
Gulf Medical University is also soon to introduce engineering and management courses as well as open three new campuses in three different countries; by 2022, Thumbay Group also plans to add 25 labs, 100 pharmacies, 40 opticals outlets, 100 coffee shops, 25 health clubs and 50 Nutri Plus Vita stores.
All of these developments reflect how healthcare is a priority for the region’s visionary leaders. Strict regulatory standards for healthcare establishments and professionals ensure that healthcare here meets the highest quality standards.
Besides, progressive measures like the mandatory health insurance program, public-private partnerships in healthcare mean that the healthcare sector in the region is poised for more growth.
There are also initiatives to ensure the health and wellness of the elderly as well as women. Specifically speaking about the UAE, healthcare is one of the priority sectors in the government’s strategic vision plan, and the industry is expected to account for AED103bn by 2021.
Healthcare’s exemption from VAT once again emphasises the importance the country places on the health and well-being of its citizens and residents.
As such, VAT will not affect the common man, as vital household expenditure items as well as healthcare and education are exempted from its ambit. Considering that most of the expenses for families in the UAE are for rent, food, healthcare and education, VAT is unlikely to affect the way consumers approach healthcare spending.
The UAE and other Gulf countries continue to offer excellent opportunities and the best support for investors. Their economies are moving towards greater robustness, thanks to their efforts to diversify and move away from oil-dependency.
The UAE in particular continues to attract investments from around the globe, as the country readies for Expo2020.
For investors with the right strategy and foresight, there couldn’t be a safer and more reassuring region to invest confidently and develop their businesses.
I personally believe that the country’s leadership and its business climate are favorable for businesses to thrive and grow.