Dubai’s Healthcare Transformation Sustains Favourable Investment Environment
Rapid urban development, a high population growth rate, a significant uptick in the influx of medical tourists, mandatory health insurance and advancements in technology — these are just some of the key factors driving the evolution of the healthcare sector in Dubai.
Dubai’s population growth forecast puts it on track for a continued surge through the next decade. This will undoubtedly escalate the demands on the health sector in Dubai. In fact, according to the Dubai Health Investment Guide 2019, based on the current ratio of beds to people, healthcare facilities in Dubai will require over 1600 additional beds by 2030 to meet the needs of its rising population.
Simultaneously, the emirate has graduated to a regional hub for medical tourists — the inflow of medical tourism to Dubai has not just multiplied the healthcare sector’s revenues, but also the opportunities for healthcare investors in Dubai. To further scale up medical tourism in Dubai, the Dubai Health Authority’s strategy is to attract over 500,000 medical tourists to the emirate by 2021.
The introduction of Dubai’s compulsory health insurance policy, coupled with the high returns on medical facilities providing private healthcare in the emirate, have further boosted healthcare opportunities in Dubai, and have attracted substantial investments into the UAE’s healthcare sector as a whole.
Meanwhile, the demand profile from healthcare services in Dubai is also evolving — from ‘fee for service’ to ‘fee for quality’, and from a demand for unspecialised medical equipment for Dubai hospitals and clinics to specialised provisions for its Centers of Excellence as well as those better suited to ambulatory healthcare services across Dubai.
Dubai’s healthcare system serves up ample opportunities for both, operators as well as investors. The changes to the emirate’s healthcare sector — particularly the rise of health tourism in Dubai and the shift in policy that made Dubai health insurance mandatory for all — has cultivated a favourable investment environment, attracting healthcare investors from the UAE, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and beyond.
In this report, collated and published before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Colliers International outlines the factors governing and transforming Dubai’s healthcare market, and the investment opportunities the sector serves up for regional as well as international investors and healthcare providers.
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