Abu Dhabi promotes medical tourism

Abu Dhabi’s health and tourism officials have come together in an attempt to stimulate the emirate’s medical tourism sector.

Abu Dhabi’s health and tourism officials have joined together in a push to stimulate the emirate’s medical tourism sector with a focus on heart disease, diabetes and other conditions.

Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (Haad) and the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) have together agreed to establish a medical tourism network to serve patients from abroad- particularly Russia, China and India.

The system will ensure that visas, hospital bookings, translation services and aftercare are handled efficiently for the patient and family members.

Haad will focus on highly specialised medical services such as cardiology, ophthalmology and diabetes treatment. It will use data from the Abu Dhabi Quality Index Programme to identify participating organisations.

Haad has a website where interested medical and tourism businesses can register.

Dr Asma Al Mannaei at Haad says: “We will be targeting the Russian, Indian, Chinese and GCC markets. Medical tourism is an integral part of Abu Dhabi’s 2030 vision to diversify its economy. We intend to offer different priced packages, Tiers 1, 2 and 3 accommodating different price points.”

Research by Haad shows that the average spending of a medical tourist is between $800 and $2,500 a day. The average length of stay for medical tourists is between seven and 10 days.

A major problem is that treatment costs are higher in the Gulf region compared with more competitive destinations in Asia.