Dubai Health Authority says the majority of international patients who come to Dubai are from Arab and GCC countries
Dubai attracted 337,011 international health tourists last year and is on track to achieve its target of attracting 500,000 by 2021, according to the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).
The authority also revealed that the tourists spent AED1.2 billion in health tourism last year and that the top three specialties sought out by health tourists were dentistry, orthopaedics and dermatology.
A recent analysis by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry revealed that medical tourism sales in the UAE increased 5.5 per cent year-on-year to reach AED12.1 billion in 2018.
The majority of international patients who come to Dubai are from Arab and GCC countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman, comprising 33 percent of the total.
Other parts of Asia make up 30 percent of visitors coming from India, Iran and Pakistan while European tourists consisting mostly of UK, French and Italian citizens share 16 percent.
Dental treatment is the most popular taken by health tourists, which account for 46 percent while orthopedics made up 18 percent and dermatology 10 percent. Ophthalmology, wellness, aesthetics and fertility treatments were also popular.
Humaid Al Qutami, director general of the DHA said the authority aims to attract more than half a million medical tourists by 2021, ensuring that they have a quality health experience and the ideal treatment environment.
He hailed the role of DXH, a website launched to fulfill the emirate’s goal as an easy to navigate smart application which offers a wide-range of comprehensive health packages and extensive travel information including visa requirement as well as hotel and flight booking information.
“To further strengthen the position of Dubai on the health tourism world map, DHA has recently revamped the DXH.ae website. The web portal that receives more than 10,000 unique visitors each month and now includes for languages including Arabic, English, Russian and Chinese,” said Dr Marwan Al Mulla, CEO of the Health Regulation Sector, DHA.
He said the DHA’s vision is to ultimately create a comprehensive journey that is "inclusive of high quality healthcare and unique health tourism services experience that are overseen and regulated by the government".
A 2019 Dubai Health Tourism guide has also been launched to further strengthen the position of Dubai on the health tourism world map