The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Economy to further strengthen collaboration in therapeutic tourism.

The MoU, signed during the launch of the DHA’s Innovation Laboratory, is an initiative to bring the private and government key healthcare leaders together to brainstorm about bolstering medical tourism and discuss the medical tourism strategy 2017-2021.

His Excellency Humaid Al Qutami, Chairman of the Board and Director-General of Dubai Health Authority, said, “Firstly, I would like to thank the leadership of the UAE for their support. We have achieved a significant growth in the medical tourism sector since the inception of the programme. It is our vision to attract more than 500,000 health tourists by 2020, and to become one of the leading medical tourism destinations in the world.”

Al Qutami said that the Authority is keen to collaborate with government and private health entities to create a strong ecosystem that will help medical tourism flourish in the emirate.

At the Innovation lab, representatives from more than 49 private sector entities brainstormed ways to further strengthen the medical tourism strategy. In April 2014, His Highness Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, approved the Dubai Medical Tourism Strategy, with DHA overseeing its

In 2016 under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan, the brand Dubai Health experience (DXH) was launched.

Looking to 2021

Dr Layla Al Marzouqi, Director of Medical Tourism at DHA, said, “The aim of the event is to review our achievements and to discuss and collect recommendations on the Strategy for Health tourism 2017 – 2021 in order to create the synergy between both the private and government sectors. Today, Dubai is a leading health tourism destination — number-one in the region and 16th globally. DHA recently announced a growth of 9.5 per cent over 2015 on the number of international medical tourists who availed health services in Dubai.”

She added that the participation of the private sector and the formation of the Health Tourism Council has helped promote medical tourism holistically across the health sector in Dubai for both elective and wellness treatments.
Dr Al Marzouqi, said: “Dubai’s objective is to attract 500,000 plus international health tourists visiting Dubai by 2021 and to become the world’s most sought after health tourism experience. The purpose of the event is to culminate our efforts to review and update periodically our strategies with the key stakeholders that form the ecosystem of health tourism in Dubai.”

The event was attended by healthcare facilities that are members of the DXH Group, DTCM (Dubai Tourism and Commerce and Marketing), GDRFA and associates in the insurance, hospitality and tourism sector.

Kamakshi Gupta 

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