Great service and all-in health checks put Dubai on map, says medical tourist

Diary of a medical tourist.

DUBAI // In a quiet waiting room in an office tower off the bustling Sheikh Zayed Road, a woman sits waiting to be called.

She travelled from Romania for the appointment.

The 48-year-old, G I, visited Dubai for a week – one of tens of thousands of medical tourists taking advantage of the UAE’s booming health and cosmetic surgery industry.

She has set a day aside for a “full MOT” on her body – otherwise known as an executive health screening package at the Eternity Medicine Institute – that is designed to check the body for more than 100 health markers, including cancer, nutrition, toxins in the blood, a full body scan, fitness levels, BMI, blood pressure and any irregularities in her hormone levels.

The following day, she said, was been earmarked for a consultation and a non-invasive facelift at Cocoona Centre for Aesthetic Transformation.

She will then relax in the emirate for a few days before getting her results and returning home.

“I have come specifically for this,” said G I after completing her first round of screening. “It is a good idea to do all this in the same place. I heard they have good equipment, good doctors. I trust it here.”

G I said her mother had cancer and she wanted to know if she was at risk. In addition, she suffered stress and wondered about hormone irregularities.

There is no such service in her country, which is why she made the 3,400 kilometres journey.

“They might have one test in one place, one test in another,” she said. “Not all under one roof.

“It is less stressful to come here and get it over and done with at once. Plus, it is better quality.”

G I also wanted to come to Dubai to get a non-invasive facelift using Ultherapy – the only US Food and Drug Administration-cleared procedure to non-invasively lift the eyebrow, neck and under-chin – for a more youthful appearance that leaves no telltale signs of surgery.

She wanted to look refreshed and rejuvenated, with something “subtle and understated”.

Again, she had heard that Dubai was the best.

As she reclined in a chair in a private, dimly-lit room, slipper-clad feet propped up on a chair while she sipped coffee, she said the beauty of Dubai was that “everything is under one roof” and was designed to make the consumer feel like a five-star guest, whether they were in the emirate for health screening, aesthetic work or surgery.

“Who can combine relaxing, being healthy and being rejuvenated?” she said.

“Feel healthy and look well – that is important to me and to a lot of people.”