The Dubai Health Tourism Department revealed its successful participation at the 15th Akwaaba African Travel Market, a leading international travel fair in West Africa, which was aimed towards capitalizing on Africa’s growing importance as a source market for Dubai’s health tourism. Around 22 companies and a high-powered delegation from Dubai engaged an African target audience on destination Dubai during the event, which ran from September 22 to 24 at the Eko Hotels and Suites Victoria Island, Lagos Nigeria.
The 2019 edition of AKWAABA African Travel Market brought together a larger number of partners and delegates under one roof this year. During the event, Dubai Health Tourism Department raised awareness on Dubai’s success as a leading health tourism destination and the superior services and health packages provided by healthcare facilities that are members of the Dubai Health Experience (DXH) Group.
Dubai’s rising popularity as a leading tourism destination can be attributed to various factors, including the integration of technological advancements into medical tourism. Leading healthcare facilities in the city are already equipped with cutting-edge medical equipment and tools to aid health professionals in their duties, with local health facilities following suit. For example, newer technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), robotics, 3D printing, wearables, bioprinting and stem cell technology are currently making waves in healthcare. In fact, the introduction of stem cell technology for aesthetic and degenerative treatments is expected to attract more health tourists to the emirates.
With over 20 flights connecting Dubai with Lagos and Abuja daily, Dubai has become the biggest destination for Nigerian health travelers who seek dental, orthopedic surgeries and other health treatments. It is believed that over 300,000 Nigerians tourists pass through Dubai every year.
Dubai Health Experience’s Second Medical Opinion (DXH SMO) Program offers key access to the best medical expertise in Dubai, especially for selected specialties like cardiology, gynecology, orthopedics neurology oncology and urology. The DXH SMO Program aims to provide the patient with an easy and effective way of getting a better perspective and insight into their medical condition by reviewing the medical reports; validation of the original diagnosis; discuss case with the referring doctor; and suggest treatment plans, including latest/alternate treatment modalities available in Dubai.
According to a recent report from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, medical tourism sales in the UAE increased 5.5 per cent Year-over-Year (YoY) to reach AED 12.1 billion in 2018. The key factors that supported this growth are new medical tourism initiatives implemented by government entities such as the DHA’s Dubai Health Experience (DXH), which is the first medical tourism portal in the region enabling tourists to book their entire medical holiday online.
As the UAE intensifies efforts to double or triple the influx of medical tourists to the country in the next five years, Dubai continues to maintain its growing appeal as a preferred destination for health tourists. The emirate welcomed over 337,011 health tourists in 2018, generating AED 1.163 billion medical expenditures. In addition to other initiatives, the Health Tourism Department will also be travelling to different cities of Russia as part of the Ministry of Economy roadshow to target travel agents and other businesses to help enhance the emirate’s health tourism segment.