Complex Made Simple

Arabs spend $27 billion on medical tourism

Dubai’s plans for development of medical tourism expected to be announced

Dubai is preparing to host the tenth World Health Tourism Congress on September 6 and 7, at Mohammed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Center in Dubai Healthcare City.

The congress assumes great importance this year, as it is being supported by the Executive Board of Health Ministers’ Council for GCC states and the Arab Tourism Organisation, UAE-based Al Arabiya reports.

Health and tourism ministers of most Arab countries will participate in this congress, in addition to delegates from nearly 80 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe – including Italy, Switzerland, India, Thailand, the Czech Republic, Germany, Britain, Spain, Lebanon and Egypt. It is expected that, by the end of the congress, Dubai will announce plans for the development of medical tourism in the region, according to Al-Ittihad newspaper.

Dr Bandar Al Fehaid, president of the Arab Tourism Organisation, says that the future of the Arab medical tourism industry is promising and will soon be able to compete with world-famous centres.

He affirms that statistical studies recently revealed that the volume of medical tourism is estimated at $100 billion, with Arabs spending approximately $27 billion of it.

Tamer El Chamaa, director of the Congress, says that holding this global event for two consecutive years in Dubai is proof of the importance of the UAE as a global destination in the field of medical tourism.

($1 = AED 3.67, at the time of publishing)