Dubai Health Authority (DHA) claims that Dubai is likely to be the next big health tourism center despite the Covid pandemic. This can be credited to UAE’s extremely successful vaccination drive, which has led to a very high vaccination rate. UAE being the most vaccinated country in the world has helped soar travelers’ confidence, according to top health authorities.
Why is there scope for health tourism in UAE?
Dr. Marwan Al Mulla, CEO of the Health Regulation Sector at the DHA said that Dubai’s healthcare would be a significant attraction for visitors to Dubai. Having first-rate medical facilities makes Dubai an enticing destination for health tourism. Of all the facilities available, there are some best-known specialties in Dubai which the medical tourists find most attractive. These are orthopedics, sports medicine, dermatology, and skincare, dentistry, and fertility treatment.
UAE is willing to provide elective health and wellness treatment programs to all patients. To create better accessibility to Dubai’s medical infrastructure, the DHA introduced the Dubai Health Experience (DXH) not long ago. It is an online platform for patients to book their appointments with doctors and create their medical itineraries.
According to Dr. Marwan, Dubai has proved extremely efficient in tackling the coronavirus outbreak. The emirate has also surpassed Israel to be the country with the most vaccinated population. UAE has administered more than 13.2 million doses of the Covid vaccine so far. Covid-19 has certainly strengthened the whole medical setup in UAE. UAE has a remarkable health infrastructure that provides quality healthcare services during the pandemic.
What to expect in the future?
Presently Dubai offers 40,000 registered healthcare professionals in both government and private medical institutions. The UAE government plans to invest more in its health sector and internationally market Dubai as a medical hub. Experts believe this would motivate people to visit Dubai for not only tourism but also its healthcare facilities. They primarily expect an inflow of tourists from India, West Africa, Russia, and Europe, as far as health tourism is concerned.
Based on a study conducted by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in 2021 alone, around 500,000 medical visitors are expected to arrive in the city. Back in 2018, Dubai welcomed around 337,000 health tourists. Within the next two years, UAE’s health tourism sector is predicted to generate a revenue of up to Dh19 billion, according to a Euromonitor International forecast report.
Dr. Marwan added that Dubai depends heavily on tourism, be it health or business-related. Therefore, having another lockdown would be detrimental to this vision. He feels that Dubai is a model for managing and containing the disease without causing hurdles to the economy. Businesses should continue to thrive. Moreover, he felt that the difficulties posed by health issues should not be greater than the burden of the treatment. Otherwise, he said, there could be a significant economic effect on its residents.
He finally added that Covid, due to the virus’ new mutant variants, may linger for a while more. All residents can do for the time being is to stay vigilant, follow Covid safety guidelines, and make use of Dubai’s excellent healthcare facilities.