MENA: new hospital projects grow

As medical provision in MENA grows, outbound medical tourism to Asia and Europe will be replaced by domestic and regional medical tourism. According to the recent MENA Hospital Projects Forum 2022 in Dubai, UAE, officials and experts expect massive opportunities in new hospital projects across the region.

MENA region’s healthcare market is projected to grow at 12% from US$185.5 billion in 2019 to US$243.6 billion in 2023. Healthcare projects in the Middle East and Africa region are valued at US$45 billion, followed by pre-planning and planning schemes worth US$23.8 billion.

Current healthcare expenditure in the GCC is projected to reach US$104.6 billion in 2022. Government spending on health care in the GCC is estimated at US$30.5 billion in 2021, from just US$2.4 billion in 2016, growing at 6% CAGR.

With a young and vibrant population that is growing at a fast pace, the MENA region will need a large number of hospital beds, clinics, pharmacies, operation theatres, medical laboratories, physiotherapy centres and associated facilities in the coming decades.

The healthcare sector in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is witnessing a phase of significant growth due to increased demand for healthcare services.

A recent report by Fitch Solutions suggests that the MENA region’s healthcare market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12% from US$185.5 billion in 2019 to US$243.6 billion in 2023.

The Dubai Healthcare Corporation has published a roadmap for public-private partnership in new hospital projects for future needs in Dubai. DHC is talking to a number of investors in the healthcare sector where the demand is growing, especially in rehabilitation clinics, mental healthcare facilities and dialysis centres.

As economic growth accelerates due to an increase in the young and working population, the healthcare market is also witnessing strong growth that necessitates the development of new hospitals, clinics, laboratories, health resorts, health research centres, medical colleges and medical cities.

With mandatory healthcare coverage and health insurance scheme, all the countries of the MENA region will have to build more hospitals and clinics, resulting in an increase in hospital projects in the region.

The UAE government has been the primary investor in the country’s healthcare sector: in 2019, it funded 70% of the country’s total healthcare expenditure of US$16 billion. However, the private sector has been increasing their investment in the UAE’s healthcare over the last decade.

Healthcare spending in the UAE will reach up to US$26 billion by the year 2028, according to a joint presentation by UAE Ministry of Economy and UAE International Investors’ Council, which also says that the UAE has 700 healthcare projects under development with total investment of US$60.9 billion mostly carried out by the private sector.

The UAE has a vision to offer universal healthcare coverage (UHC) to all UAE nationals and expatriate residents and is looking at providing healthcare support to visiting tourists.

Most GCC residents used to seek treatment in India, Singapore and Thailand. Now, in recent years, the medical sector has developed vastly in the UAE and other Gulf countries as well.

UAE’s global appeal to medical tourists continues to rise and its contribution to the economic growth of the country is significant.

Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City in partnership with Mayo Clinic is building to become the preferred integrated health care destination for the care of patients with complex, serious or rare diseases. SSMC is working to bridge the gap for patients’ needs through an integrated multi-specialty care team model that brings Mayo clinic expertise closer to where patients live.

Upcoming Hospital Projects in the MENA Region

Hospital Project Name Capacity Country Project Owner
Hamdan Bin Rashid Cancer Hospital, Dubai 250 beds UAE Al Jalila Foundation
Khasab Hospital Project 150 beds Oman Ministry of Health
Al Suwaiq Hospital Project 260 beds Oman Ministry of Health
The new Sultan Qaboos – Salalah 700 beds Oman Ministry of Health
King Khalid Medical City 1,500 beds KSA Ministry of Health
King Faisal Medical City (KFMC) 1,024 beds KSA Ministry of Health
King Fahad Medical City 1,024 beds KSA Ministry of Health
Prince Mohammad bin Abdul Aziz Medical City 442 beds KSA Ministry of Health
New Maternity Hospital 789 beds Kuwait Ministry of Public Works
Kuwait Children’s Hospital 792 beds Kuwait Ministry of Health
Sabah Al Salem Univ. Health Sciences Center 690 beds Kuwait SAS University City
Kuwait University Teaching hospital 200 beds Jordan Aqaba
Ibn Sina Hospital 844 beds Morocco Ibn Sina Company
Medical City – Badr City 350 beds Egypt EHCS
International Medical Centre and Hospital 12,000 sqm Egypt OWagic Development

Source: MENA Hospital Projects Forum 2022