Abu Dhabi’s tourism and health authority have come together in a push to stimulate the Emirates medical tourism region with a focus on diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions. The Department of Culture and Tourism- Abu Dhabi has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Medical Tourism Association (MTA), a non-profit association that aids healthcare providers and governments in creating a successful medical tourism program. Both the entities will be partnering together to promote Abu Dhabi as a medical tourism destination in markets such as China, Russia, and the GCC.
The ten-year agreement will also see the opening of the MTA’s first office in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, as well as introducing of the World Medical Tourism and Global Healthcare Congress in Abu Dhabi following year, with hundreds of specialists and organizations from more than 100 countries expected to take part. This agreement is in line with the obligation to endorse Abu Dhabi on the world stage and to back Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030, which is designed to guide the city’s growth and development.
Apart from this, attracting top-quality doctors and offering a range of specialist services are part of a wide-ranging plan to put Abu Dhabi on the map as a medical tourism hot spot. The long-term strategy is to bring the best physicians to work in the emirate on a rotating basis, providing a lure for patients to travel to the UAE capital.
E-Portal for Medical Tourism
Last year Abu Dhabi introduced a digital platform that offers the city’s visitors with the details of all the medical amenities and facilities obtainable throughout the duration of their visit. It was established by the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi (DoH) and the Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT - Abu Dhabi). The electronic portal gives a list of 40 healthcare facilities that are comprised in the medical tourism network, all of which follow the requirements of the DoH's value framework (Jawda) program. More than 287 medical treatment packages from over 173 doctors across the emirate are also listed.
UAE | A Medical Hub
An informal survey lately put the healthcare industry in the UAE at the top of the vital industrial sectors earmarked for growth in the GCC in 2018. Along with the vital education and F & B sector, the healthcare sector is set to develop by leaps and bounds mainly because it is not affected by fluctuating oil prices. Over the last few years, the healthcare sector has emerged as one of the most critical sectors for following economic diversification in the GCC. The authorities have started looking at private sector involvement as an alternative to sustain healthcare funding since oil prices began dipping.
Apart from Abu Dhabi, Dubai too is upping the stakes. The medical tourism sector produced more than AED1.4 billion for Dubai in 2016. The city received 326,649 medical visitors, an increase of 9.5 per cent over the preceding year. The most widespread areas of action for medical tourists last year were orthopaedics, dermatology and ophthalmology.
Abu Dhabi is growing its reputation as a premier destination for medical tourism through its advanced infrastructure, extensive tourism portfolio, and high quality of healthcare that enables the Emirate to deliver complete tourism experiences for its visitors. Starting a healthcare business can be an excellent opportunity for the investors in Abu Dhabi as government is also bringing healthcare-related incentives to the businesses.
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