Dubai authorities sign MoU to promote medical tourism

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of Economic Development (DED) to collaborate jointly to attract foreign direct investments especially in niche healthcare specialties.

The two sides will also work to protect investors’ intellectual property rights and will promote the DHA’s health investment Strategy and Guide, as well as its Certificate of Need policy, to provide investors with guidance and information on the healthcare landscape and investment opportunities in Dubai.

DHA Director General H.E. Humaid Al Qutami said that DHA has made significant strides in the field of healthcare investment. He highlighted the unique Certificate of Need guideline that ensures that investments in the healthcare are in line with the requirements of the sector and the needs of the population.

He also highlighted the remarkable growth of the health sector of the Emirate and said that presently Dubai had 3,400 health facilities, including hospitals and clinics, and over 35,000 healthcare professionals from 110 nationalities.

According to the 2018 statistics, more than 337,000 health tourists visited Dubai seeking services in various health specialties, which generated revenue of AED1.2 billion (USD320 million). Given the growth trajectory, it is projected that the sector could reach an estimated value of AED19.5 billion by 2023.

Al Qutami said that DED has achieved tremendous success in the field of investment and tourism and that the DHA was pleased to collaborate with the DED to further strengthen health investment and medical tourism in the Emirate.

DED Director General H.E. Sami Al Qamzi said: “The DED is keen on strengthening its partnership with public and private organisations to provide an ideal business environment and make investment attractive to various sectors specifically investment in the health sector and medical tourism.

“The MoU with the DHA opens up more prospects and facilitates information sharing and knowledge about the health sector, thereby contributing to the revitalisation of the health and medical tourism sector and raising opportunities for investment in this vital sector to reaffirm Dubai’s global competitiveness in investment across all sectors.”

The drive to establish Dubai as a destination of choice for medical tourism began in 2012 when Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed gave the DHA a mandate to devise a strategy for developing and supporting the healthcare sector and increasing its contribution towards Dubai’s gross domestic product.

The DHA’s Medical Tourism Office was established in 2014 and the Dubai Health Experience (DXH) brand was launched two years later. The DHX is the official group of 75 participating health facilities in the Dubai health tourism project that have been evaluated by the DHA to ensure quality, safety and service standards to inbound health tourists.

The DXH website offers a wide range of medical specialties and services covering advanced elective procedures in cosmetic treatment and surgery, orthopaedics and sports medicine, ophthalmology, dental, dermatology, wellness and preventive health check-up, as well as assisted reproductive techniques and weight loss management and surgeries.

If you are looking to enter the healthcare market in the UAE, Sovereign is well placed to advise on the most appropriate structure to help you achieve your goals.

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