Dubai’s emergence as a global health tourism destination

November 14 20:33 2022
With 630,000 international health tourists in 2021, Dubai remains one of the top destinations for health tourism

Dubai, a city in the United Arab Emirates, known for its ultramodern architecture and incredible skylines, has grown into one of the most recognizable destinations worldwide, 

With a constant driving force for all things innovative, Dubai is one of the most diversified economies in the world, bringing numerous benefits for both the country and its people. Dubai’s focused and sustainable growth is driven by the government’s future-forward policies. The country’s leadership consists of future-focused visionaries with a strong growth mindset. People are drawn to the city as much for lifestyle reasons as for the cultural diversity on offer.

Many international travelers prefer UAE as the travel destination for their medical wellness due to the rising healthcare costs back home and the lack of insurance coverage for some treatments such as dermatology and dental procedures. According to a recent survey by the British Dental Association, an increasing number of patients in the United Kingdom are seeking dental treatments in foreign countries driven by low treatment costs and shorter waiting times.

Dubai received 630,000 international health tourists in 2021. A report by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) indicated that a majority of the health tourists who came to Dubai were from Asian countries (38 percent), Europe (22 percent) and GCC nations (22 percent). The report also revealed that 55 percent of the international health tourists were men and 45 percent were women. Approximately 70 percent of the treatment provided to health tourists was offered at multidisciplinary clinics including dental clinics in Dubai, 16 percent at hospitals, and 14 percent at day surgery centers. The 3 medical specialties that attracted the most health tourists were dermatology (43 percent), dental clinics (18 percent), and gynecology (16 percent).

The healthcare facilities in Dubai adopt the highest international standards, and work under the direct and permanent supervision of the Dubai Health Authority to ensure the highest quality.

Dubai keeps launching new initiatives that support medical wellness in the city. The Council of Delegates of the International Federation of Sports Medicine (FIMS) has selected Dubai as the host city of the 38th edition of the World Congress of Sports Medicine, taking place in 2024.

Dubai welcomed 7.12 million international visitors in the first half of 2022. about 3 times the number of tourists recorded in the same period of 2021, as it pursues the goal to become the world’s most visited destination. Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism suggests that Dubai hosted around 2.95 million overnight visitors between June and August. 

Dubai’s emergence as a global health tourism destination reflects the high level of healthcare development achieved by the emirate across private and government institutions. The strong health regulation framework helps ensure the quality of health care provided; and the positive government policies and the robust health infrastructure has resulted in making UAE a popular choice for medical tourism.

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