Medical tourism in UAE to generate Dh7b by 2010

by Mohammad Ezz Al Deen ,  Gulfnews | 2007-04-29

Abu Dhabi: Medical tourism is expected to generate about Dh7 billion annually to the UAE by 2010, said a report last week.

A report issued by the information centre of Abu Dhabi Chamber of commerce and Industry (ADCCI) expected that the country's medical tourism to grow by 15 per cent annually, in line with the increase of tourists' demand on such tourism.

Riyad Khalil Matar, General Manager of the ADCCI's information centre, told Gulf News that the global revenues of the treatment tourism exceeded $56 billion last year.

"The UAE expects to receive more than 11.2 million tourists by 2010," he said.

"[For this purpose], we're developing the healthcare sector, building new communities, hotels and resorts to make the country a favourite destination for medical tourism," he added.

Matar said that establishing medical institutions such as the Dubai HealthCare City and Khalefa HealthCare City, and developing environmental resorts are a noticeable effort.

"The UAE government is spending over $2 billion every year on the medicine outside the country, adding to that the annual expenditure of the UAE nationals themselves on the medication," he added.

According to Matar, the UAE is aiming to attract about six million tourists from a worldwide's 600 million tourists with special needs.

"The treatment tourism needs a general strategy on the federal level, witch coordinate between the governmental and the private departments' efforts, and the tourist authorities, to support and develop the treatment tourist.

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