Dubai sets stage for medical tourists

Linda Abdullah Ali Ruhi, Consultant, Health Tourism Department, Dubai Health Authority, highlights the progress in the medical tourism sector.

Shehara Rizly

What was the value of medical expenditures in 2018?
Medical expenditures from visiting international health tourists surpassed AED 1.163 billion in 2018 due to visiting numbers exceeding 337,011.

From which destinations are tourists visiting Dubai?
From Arab and GCC countries, 33 per cent of patients were from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Oman. Thirty per cent who visited were from Asia, mainly from India, Iran and Pakistan; whilst the 16 per cent of European tourists consisted mostly of UK, French and Italian citizens.

Elaborate on the recent growth in healthcare facilities.
In addition to the significant growth in the number of tourists, there has been a 9 per cent increase in health facilities that have been verified and added to the health tourism DXH Group member programme. Our electronic portal for health tourism,, now lists more than 600 packages from 72 healthcare establishments –including 18 hospitals and 54 specialties centres.

What are the facilities provided for medical tourism visitors?
Through the establishment of visa facilities, Dubai Health Experience has elevated the emirate’s profile as a competitive hub for global and regional medical tourism services and business expansion initiatives alike. The emirate offers a medical tourism visa of 90 days, in line with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, which is renewable for an extra 30 days depending on the procedure and case of the individual patient. Furthermore, medical tourism visas and related travel insurance is also issued within 48 hours of registration at any visa facility.

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