Dubai will host The 9th World Health Tourism Congress from October 18 to 20, offering a global platform to healthcare and health insurance providers, tourism promotion bodies, medical and health care regulators and tour operators to discuss a wide range of issues and trends about the health tourism industry.
The congress is expected to be attended by over 350 participants from 80 countries from various geographical regions.
The three-day event will be held at the Mohammed bin Rashid Academic Medical Centre in Dubai Health Care City (DHCC).
The congress is being organized by Grand Aurum Marketing in cooperation with Dubai Health Care City (DHCC) under the patronage of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
This will be the first congress in the Middle East region. The previous events were held in Germany, Cyprus, Philippines, Spain and South Africa.
Tamer El Chamaa, Director of the Congress, said more than 50 participants will be there from the UAE where the health tourism has been given a focused attention by the tourism authorities and healthcare regulators. The organizers are expecting wider participation from the GCC and Middle Eastern countries.
He said Dubai offers a perfect destination for hosting the congress considering the fact that the Emirate of Dubai was aspiring to be a global health tourism hub, offering an interesting mix of attractions and facilities in both tourism and healthcare sectors. Dubai is aiming to attract 500,000 medical tourists a year by the year 2020.
According to Patients Beyond Borders, a medical traveler is anyone who travels across international borders for the purpose of receiving medical care.
It said that the global health tourism market size is $38.5 billion to $55 billion, based on approximately eleven million cross-border patients worldwide spending an average of $3,500 to $5,000 per visit, including all medically-related costs, cross-border and local transport, inpatient stay and accommodations.
Costa Rica, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and the US are among the top health tourism destinations.
The global medical tourism market is estimated to grow with a CAGR of 9.5% until the year 2018. To capture this market, both private sectors and governments of several countries are promoting medical tourism as a potentially lucrative source of foreign revenue. Dubai expects a modest single figure growth in medical tourism in each of the next three years.
Most medical tourists to Dubai are from the GCC and the wider region as well as people from countries including Libya, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, Tunisia, India, Pakistan, and Russia.