Despite Dubai’s economic slowdown, there is a considerably rapid development in its healthcare sector that attracted major international companies in the market. The trend in the other emirates is similar. Dubai’s goal is to be a global destination for both domestic and foreign patients and to be a place for medical tourists around the world with the country’s high quality and cost-effective treatments and procedures.
Growing demand for care in the United Arab Emirates
Since the population of Dubai and other emirates is growing and aging, there is a high demand for healthcare, with also high costs. This is reinforced by the abundance of chronic diseases among the population. Therefore, another goal of the country is to attract credible and world-famous health care providers.
Overall, Dubai’s goal is to create competition among healthcare providers and raise its healthcare standards. Present organizations that contribute to the achievement of this goal are the Ministry of Health, Health Authority of Abu Dhabi (HAAD), Dubai Health Authority (DHA), and the Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) among others.
The UAE healthcare market
The healthcare industry experienced significant growth over the past years, particularly in medical spas. According to Euromonitor International, the forecast for the UAE spa market was USD 411 million in 2015. The Global Wellness Institute has indicated that the Middle East and North African region is the second most rapidly growing spa market in the world.
Revenues in the UAE spa market are predicted to be as high as US$495 million by the year 2019.
What are the current trends in the UAE healthcare industry?
Patients in the UAE tend to overconsume highly priced medical services, resulting to a high per capita healthcare and wellness spending. There is also a rise in medical costs due to major industry companies, since the cost of healthcare and surgery treatments has increased by 30-40% in the last 3 years. This is due to overconsumption of medical services, increasing costs of medical equipment and competition for qualified professionals, and increase of chronic diseases.
To address these, the government aims to focus on the development of Public Private Partnerships, since 70% of the government’s expenditure goes to healthcare services. The goal is to encourage private sectors’ participation to improve both hard and soft infrastructure. Because of Dubai’s political stability, this is very likely to be achieved.
What are the business opportunities?
Dubai is known for its highly specialized care and excellent clinical services. There is a constantly increasing demand for qualified aesthetic surgeons, aside from professionals qualified in Lasik, dentistry, and rejuvenation treatments. From the male plastic surgery market alone, opportunities arise in areas such as rhinoplasty, hair transplantation, and liposuction.
Due to the increasing population of the elderly and the abundance of chronic diseases, long-term care facilities are being continuously demanded by the market. High medical costs also contribute to this, paving the way for investments in home care services and private providers.