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The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) says Dubai is likely to become the next major health tourism destination despite the Covid pandemic. This can be attributed to the extremely successful vaccination campaign in the UAE, which has resulted in a very high vaccination rate. As the world’s most vaccinated country, the UAE has helped boost travelers’ confidence, according to leading health authorities.
Why are there opportunities for health tourism in the UAE?
Dr Marwan Al Mulla, Director General of the DHA Health Regulatory Sector, said Dubai healthcare will be a significant attraction for Dubai visitors. The presence of first-class medical facilities makes Dubai an attractive destination for health tourism. Of all the establishments available in Dubai, there are some of the most famous dishes that medical tourists find most appealing. These are orthopedics, sports medicine, dermatology, skin care, dentistry and infertility treatment.
The UAE is ready to provide all patients with elective health and wellness programs. To make Dubai’s medical infrastructure more accessible, DHA recently introduced the Dubai Health Experience (DXH) program. It is an online platform where patients can make appointments with doctors and plan their medical itineraries.
Dubai has proven to be extremely effective in fighting the coronavirus outbreak, Dr Marwan said. The emirate also overtook Israel to become the country with the most vaccinated population. To date, more than 13.2 million doses of Covid vaccine have been administered in the UAE. Covid-19 has certainly strengthened the entire medical system in the UAE. The UAE has an excellent healthcare infrastructure that provides quality healthcare services during a pandemic.
What to expect in the future?
Dubai currently offers 40,000 registered healthcare professionals in both public and private healthcare facilities. The UAE government plans to invest more in its healthcare sector and internationally promote Dubai as a medical center. Experts believe that this will motivate people to visit Dubai not only for tourism purposes, but also for the purpose of obtaining medical services. First of all, they expect an influx of tourists from India, West Africa, Russia and Europe in terms of health tourism.
According to a study by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, around 500,000 medical visitors are expected to arrive in the city in 2021 alone. Back in 2018, Dubai received around 337,000 medical tourists. The UAE’s health tourism sector is projected to generate revenue of up to AED 19 billion in the next two years, according to a forecast report from Euromonitor International.
Dr Marwan added that Dubai is heavily dependent on tourism, be it health or business. Hence, re-isolation will damage this vision. He believes Dubai is a role model for treating and containing disease without hampering the economy. The business must continue to thrive. Moreover, he believed that health difficulties should not exceed the burden of treatment. Otherwise, he said, it could have a significant economic impact on its residents.
Finally, he added that Covid, due to new mutant variants of the virus, may linger for some time. All residents can do for now is stay vigilant, comply with Covid safety regulations, and enjoy Dubai’s excellent healthcare facilities.
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