New report says medical tourism growth supported by gov't-led initiatives and the rising number of tourists in the UAE
Medical tourism receipts in the UAE increased 5.5 percent year-on-year to reach AED12.1 billion ($3.3bn) in 2018, it has been revealed.
The growth was supported by several government-led initiatives and the rising number of medical tourists in the country, according to new analysis released by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The report said growth momentum behind medical tourism in the UAE is expected to continue over the years, with sales in this sector projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate reaching an estimated value of AED19.5bn by 2023.
The report noted that Expo 2020 and continued development of the healthcare sector is projected to drive growth in the near future, in addition to Dubai Government’s target to attract more than 500,000 medical tourists by 2020.
The analysis, based on recent data from Euromonitor International and Fitch Solutions, found that overall health expenditure in the UAE amounted to an estimated AED50.3 billion in 2018, a 5.4 percent increase compared to the previous year.
Key factors supporting this growth included new medical tourism initiatives implemented by government entities and increasing sector privatisation in the form of investment and by building state-of-the-art health facilities, the report said.
According to the analysis, there were 154 hospitals in the UAE in 2018, which saw 49.1 million patient visits and 789,198 public inpatient admissions, while 119,897 surgical procedures were performed.
Among the main initiatives recently introduced by the Dubai Health Authority is the Dubai Health Experience, which is the first medical tourism portal in the region and enables tourists to book their entire medical holiday online.
The Abu Dhabi Department of Health and Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, has also jointly launched the Abu Dhabi Medical Tourism e-portal, a digital platform that provides visitors to Abu Dhabi all medical offerings and healthcare facilities throughout their visit.