Dubai emerges as a global medical tourism destination, receives 630,000 health tourists in 2021

Dubai received 630,000 international health tourists in 2021, according to a report released by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) during the ongoing Arab Travel Market in Dubai. Spending of international patients reached nearly AED730 million in the past year despite the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The report indicated that a majority of the health tourists who came to Dubai were from Asian countries, accounting for 38 of the total, whereas 24% were from Europe and 22 per cent from Arab and GCC nations.

Fifty-five per cent of the international health tourists were men and 45% were women. Almost 70% of treatment given to international health tourists was provided at multidisciplinary clinics, 16% at hospitals,and 14% at one-day surgery centres. The three medical specialties that attracted the most health tourists were dermatology (43%), dentistry (18%), and gynecology (16%). Other medical specialties included orthopedics, plastic surgery, ophthalmology, health and wellness,and fertility treatments.

The report presented extensive statistics regarding health tourists and medical specialties that saw high demand:

The top three regions that attracted health tourists in dentistry included Arab and GCC region at 45%, Asia at 28%, and Europe at 15%.

The top three regions that attracted health tourists in dermatology were Asia (31%), Europe (27%) and Arab and GCC region (26%).

The top three regions in the field of gynecology were Asia (57%), Europe (15%) and Arab and GCC region (13%).

The top three regions from which health tourists came for treatment in the field of orthopedic surgery were Asia (36%), Europe (29%) and Arab and GCC region (17%).

The top three regions in the field of plastic surgery were Arab and GCC region (36%), Europe (31%), and Asia (14%).

The top three regions from which health tourists came for treatment in ophthalmology were Asia at 33%, Arab and GCC region at 23 % and Africa at 18%.

The top three regions in the field of fertility treatments were Asia (34%), Africa (24%) and Europe (19%).

The top three regions from which health tourists came for hospital treatments were Europe (45%), followed by the Arab and GCC region (25%) and Asia (12%).

His Excellency Awadh Seghayer Al Ketbi, Director General of the Dubai Health Authority, highlighted the exceptional global competitiveness of Dubai’s health tourism offerings and the tremendous growth and advancement seen by its health sector in the past decade. Dubai’s emergence as a global health tourism destination reflects the high efficiency and capabilities of the emirate’s health infrastructure and facilities and the safe and high-quality multidisciplinary healthcare it offers, he said.

He further noted that the report reveals that a large number of health tourists visiting Dubai came from countries with a long history in the medical sector, reflecting the high level of healthcare development achieved by Dubai, across governmental, private or multinational institutions and its competencies in diverse medical specialties. He stressed that the Dubai Health Authority will continue to enhance health tourism in line with Dubai’s aspirations and goals.

Al Ketbi praised the close cooperation between the private and government health sectors based on a common vision to provide the highest quality of medical care and ensure Dubai is at the forefront of global cities in the field of medical tourism.

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