Positive progress for Dubai medical tourism initiative

Dubai treated 118,727 domestic and inbound medical tourists in the first quarter of 2015.These are patients from other countries and from other states within the United Arab Emirates.

This includes expatriates working in the UAE and other Gulf states, but it is not clear if numbers also include expatriates working in Dubai, due to the usual confusion between using the terms medical tourists and international patients as the same thing when they are very different.

46% are from Asia, 25% from Gulf and Arab states, 13% from Africa: the remaining 16% are mostly from the UK and Commonwealth of Independent States countries.

Figures are only from the 16 private hospitals licensed by Dubai Health Authority as members of the Dubai Medical Tourism Club.

Dr Layla Al Marzouqi at the DHA reports that medical tourism revenue totalled more than AED778 million ($211.8 million) in Q1 compared to AED652.7 million for the whole of 2012: “Our target for 2016 was AED1.18 billion but we will surpass this soon and we aim to surpass our 2020 target which is AED2.6 billion by an additional 20 %.”

44 % are aged 25 to 45 and 10 % are 65 or older. The most popular treatments are orthopaedic surgery, dental treatment and cosmetic surgery.