Dubai: Dubai’s goal of attracting half a million medical and health tourists by 2020 will soon be achieved after Thumbay Group announced its plans to support that goal with 1000 medical tourists per day across its healthcare network.
The announcement came during the 4th Annual Health & Medical Tourism Conference held at Hotel Hyatt Regency-Dubai Creek Heights, on November 23.
Organised by Thumbay Medical Tourism in association with Thumbay Hospital, the conference brought together industry experts from healthcare, travel, medical tourism and medical education sectors. The half-day event highlighted the latest trends and developments in medical tourism and explored ways to boost health tourism in the UAE.
Speaking at the conference, Dr. Layla Mohamed AlMarzouqi, Director Dubai Health Tourism Council, said that Dubai is well-positioned to achieve its goal of welcoming half a million international patients by 2020, thanks to the support of key players in the private sector like the Thumbay Group, which announced its plans to attract 1,000 tourist per day to its facilities across the UAE.
Dubai currently ranks number 1 in the Arab world and 16th globally, based on the 2016 Medical Tourism Index.
“Dubai’s proximity, safety and connectivity, coupled with the fact that 80 percent of the UAE’s hospitals are internationally accredited, are some of the key factors that helped the Emirate fast become one of the world’s top health tourism destinations”, Dr. AlMarzouqi added.
In 2016, the number of health tourists visiting Dubai reached 326,649, an increase of 9.5 per cent compared to 298,359 the previous year. Top medical and health treatments sought by visitors to the emirate were orthopaedics, dermatology, dental, fertility, health and wellness, ophthalmology and aesthetics.
Akbar Moideen Thumbay, Vice President of the Healthcare Division of Thumbay Group, reiterated the conglomerate’s commitment to Dubai’s plans of becoming an international hub for health tourism, by adding three new hospitals, five clinics, 15 pharmacies and five diagnostic labs to its existing network.
A member of the Dubai Health Experience-a Dubai Health Authority (DHA) initiative aimed at strengthening the Emirate’s position as a health tourism hub-the Thumbay Group has launched several initiatives to support the emirate’s ambition, including an exclusive Marhaba lounge service for patients coming from abroad, priority appointments in the group’s medical facilities, and fast-tracked services including administrative and medical procedures.
H H Shaikh Mohammed Maktoum Juma Almaktoum, Chairman of MBM Groups, was the chief guest at the event and Dr. Thumbay Moideen, Founder President, Thumbay Group, presided over the event which also saw the participation of Dr. Jia Xiao Fang, President, China International Health & Medical Tourism Association and Dheeraj Joshi, Partner, Price Waterhouse Cooper, who highlighted Dubai’s position among the global medical tourism space.
A panel discussion, which was moderated by Linda Abdullah, Consultant, Health Tourism Council, DHA, discussed enhancing the experience of health tourists. Panelists included Ahmed Al Falasi, Chief Operating Officer of the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, and Stephen Smith, Health Bank.
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