By Rob Corder
Dubai wants to attract healthcare tourists, but is now one of the most expensive places in the world for cosmetic surgery.
The cost of a nip and tuck in Dubai has risen by up to one-third, according to leading surgeons in the emirate.
The price of a face lift has risen from Dhs30,000 ($8,175) in 2006 to Dhs40,000 ($10,900) today at Cosmesurge Dubai, which promotes itself to tourists looking to have cosmetic work done while on holiday.
The company's web site (www.cosmesurge.com) states: "Dubai provides you with the opportunity to combine your cosmetic surgery at prices significantly less than the UK with a holiday adventure."
But Cosmesurge's Max Sawaf, says that spiralling costs of administration risk making Dubai uncompetitive.
"There has been an inordinate increase in the requirements and standards that apply to clinics and hospitals," he told Arabianbusiness.com. "It seems there is a new rule every week," he added.
Dubai is now one of the most expensive places in the world for cosmetic surgery.
A face lift in Britain currently costs around $9,000. Eastern European countries such as Hungary and the Czech Republic offer the same procedures for under $4000. South African surgeons charge around $6000.
Compounding the problem is a drain of professional medical staff out of the UAE and towards markets like the UK, which are dealing with staff shortages by offering higher salaries and perks like free housing for nurses.
To keep his highly trained staff, Cosmesurge had to increase its salaries by 15 percent twice in the past 12 months, according to Dr. Sawaf.
Intense competition between a raft of new cosmetic surgery clinics in the UAE kept prices stable from 2002-2006, despite inflation in the economy running at double digit levels.
But all quality clinics are now raising prices. Dr. Jaffer Khan, a Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, says his clinic (www.plasticsurgery.ae) has raised prices by around 10 percent across the board.
A breast augmentation operation has risen from Dhs17,500 ($4770) in 2005 to Dhs21,500 ($5860) today.