Dubai received 674,000 medical tourists who spent Dh992 million ($270 million) last year, an increase of Dh262 million from 2021.
Thirty-nine per cent of the medical tourists who came to the emirate last year were from Asian countries while 22 per cent were from Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, and 21 per cent from Arab and GCC countries, the Dubai Health Authority said.
“Dubai’s ability to provide high-quality patient-centred medical care has accelerated its growth as an Arab, regional and international health care destination,” said Awadh Al Ketbi, director general of the DHA.
“Dubai’s strategic location, safety, exceptional infrastructure and world-leading amenities add to the factors that have raised its status as a medical tourism hub.”
Dubai received 630,000 international health tourists in 2021, a DHA report said last year. Spending by international patients stood at about Dh730 million in 2021, the findings showed.
The UAE and Dubai have established themselves as leading medical tourism centres.
The Emirates was ranked as the leading medical tourism destination in the GCC, according to a 2021 report by the US-based Medical Tourism Association.
Dubai, in particular, was ranked by the Medical Tourism Index as the number one Arab destination for medical tourism and was six on a list of the 46 most unique international medical tourism countries.
The GCC's current healthcare expenditure is expected to reach $135.5 billion in 2027, implying an annualised growth rate of 5.4 per cent from $104.1 billion in 2022, according to Alpen Capital.
The three specialities that reported the highest number of medical tourists in Dubai last year were dermatology, dentistry and gynaecology, the latest DHA report said.
Medical tourists from Asia, Europe and Africa, including those from GCC and Arab countries, also visited the emirate to see medics in the orthopaedic, plastic surgery, ophthalmology and fertility treatment fields, the findings showed.
Dubai’s vision to provide a world-class healthcare model and an integrated medical care system — which offers state-of-the-art centres and treatment methods, advanced technology, smart solutions and highly-qualified professionals across all fields of medicine — has driven its global competitiveness in the sector, Mr Al Ketbi said.
The DHA is committed to attracting investment in the health care sector by collaborating with international institutions to establish centres that can meet growing treatment needs across all specialities, he said.
Thirty-five per cent of dermatology patients in Dubai last year were from Asian countries, followed by 26 per cent from Europe and 20 per cent from Arab and GCC countries, according to the DHA.
Meanwhile, 37 per cent of dentistry patients in the emirate hailed from Arab and GCC countries, followed by 29 per cent from Asia and 19 per cent from Europe, the report found.
Similarly, 54 per cent of gynaecology patients last year were from Asia, followed by 18 per cent from Europe and 13 per cent from Arab and GCC countries.