By Courtney Trenwith
Saudi company to develop hospital that could rival gov’t proposal at Dubai Healthcare City
A top Saudi healthcare company has announced it will build a teaching hospital at Dubai Silicon Oasis in a development worth AED1bn ($272.3m).
Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital (DSFH), which operates one of the largest hospitals in the Middle East in Jeddah, said the Dubai facility would have 300 hospital beds and provide 4000 jobs.
The development has been named University Hospital – the same title as a teaching hospital planned by the Dubai government at Dubai Healthcare City.
The DHCC facility was due to open in early 2011 but has been stalled due to lack of funding. DHCC CEO Marwan Abedin revealed to Arabian Business on Wednesday that the project was now underway and he expected the first contracts to be signed this year.
The hospital would not open before 2016, Abedin said, while the DSFH facility is scheduled to open in 2017.
It is unclear whether DSFH was aware of the existing plans for University Hospital at DHCC.
The hospital at Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), a free zone technology park, will be built over 150,000sqm in two phases, with the second phase - Fakeeh Medical University - scheduled to be ready in 2019.
The firm said it would focus on family healthcare and patient-centred services and have capacity for 700,000 patients per year, with an estimated 40,000 admissions and 20,000 surgical operations.
Also operating as a full-service medical institution, the hospital will include centres of excellence in medical and surgical sub-specialties, mother and child health, cardiology and spine surgery, plastic and cosmetic laser surgery and obesity management.
Fakeeh Medical University, which would be managed as a private academic institution, would be equipped with cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art medical care simulation facilities and have international affiliations, DSFH said.
The university also would partner with local universities, including the Rochester Institute of Technology in DSO, American University of Sharjah, Al Ain University and Dubai Academic City.
Specialties would include medicine, nursing, laboratory sciences, radiology, physiotherapy, dentistry, clinical pharmacy and health policy and management.
The project also would include a research and development centre for basic sciences in order to develop medical innovations and best practices in the region.
"The move to host the hospital and the medical university in DSO is in accordance with the directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to develop the medical tourism industry in the emirate. The initiative is also a step forward in the implementation of the strategy of the Executive office to make Dubai a hub for medical tourism," Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority vice-chairman and CEO Mohammed Al Zarooni said.
"Recent statistics shows that the number of medical tourists receiving treatment is estimated to increase by 15 percent each year.
“Additionally, healthcare spending in the UAE is expected to reach AED40bn by 2015, while medical tourists are set to cross the 20m mark for the same period.
"We are confident that [DSFH’s] vision to create a premier medical academic institution perfectly matches and balances our efforts to provide a better quality of life to DSO's residents through the application of best practices in the field. This project will certainly tick all the boxes through value health treatments, best medical advice, job creation and most importantly the creation of a dependable knowledge in the health field that will benefit this region.”
DSFH chairman and president Mazen Fakeeh said the new hospital would help boost local medical expertise.
“As one of the few teaching hospitals in the UAE, we hope to train and enhance the supply of healthcare professionals, who can take their rightful place in the country's medical resource pool," he said.For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.