By Joanna Hartley
Estimates say growth in UAE's healthcare sector will continue to hit 16% per year.
The UAE's healthcare industry is continuing to grow stronger, bucking the overall economic trend, according to the organisers of the region's largest healthcare conference.
IIR Middle East is still forecasting that multi-million dollar deals will be signed between healthcare providers and suppliers at Dubai’s Arab Health event later this month, despite the region's current economic woes.
It estimates the sector will continue to grow by 16% per year, spurred by continued government support, and the on-going interest of local and regional manufacturers and distributors in winning a share of the estimated $74 billion annual market.
"We are not seeing any negative impact on the level of business in healthcare in the region as a result of what’s happening in markets and economies across the globe,” said Dave Panther, sponsorship director for the company’s life science’s division .
“If anything, it is actually getting stronger. We are seeing a lot of movement from companies looking to expand or enter the region,” he added.
The 2009 event, which showcases the latest medical technologies and clinical research, is a sell-out with 200 companies waiting to exhibit. It is expected to draw 5,000 delegates.
"Deals are closed or announced throughout the event," added Simon Page, director of the company’s life sciences division.
Arab Health is backed by the UAE's Ministry of Health and is taking place between Jan. 26-29 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.