Demand within healthcare in the GCC will largely stem from the need for specialised services, Mansoor Ahmed, Director Research and Advisory, Healthcare, Education & PPP MENA Region, Colliers, said.
Ahmed was speaking at the Cityscape GCC Summit 2021.
The main driving force for healthcare in the GCC is the population, Ahmed noted. The population of roughly 55 million in the GCC as of 2020, is projected to grow to 73-75 million over the next 10 years, he said.
The composition of the population will have an effect on healthcare in the GCC, he continued. Growing life expectancies, reduced infant, child and adult mortalities, and decreased fertility rates indicate an improvement in the population.
Further, individuals aged 0-25 years represent around 25% of the population, and are expected to drive demand for maternity and childcare services (over 20 million babies are expected to be born in the GCC), Ahmed said.
Those aged 18-44 years currently represent about 52% of the population and are critical to existing and future disease patterns and health expenditure.
Those aged 45-64 years, representing 20% of the population, are predicted to be responsible for a sharp rise in healthcare demand – nearly 80% of individual healthcare requirements tend to occur with those aged 40-50 years, especially in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR HEALTHCARE IN THE GCC
Further, GCC has the highest rates of diabetes, obesity and hypertension worldwide. Therefore, the focus will be on creating more specialised hospitals and centres of excellence, versus tertiary care or general hospitals. These include cosmetic surgeries, IVF, cardiology, ophthalmology, and oncology.
Long-term and rehab facilities, day-care surgical centres, beauty and cosmetic services, health-focused wellness retreats and nutrition clinics are also looking at optimistic market potential, as are day-care surgical centres.
GCC governments, especially in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Oman, are looking to secure public-private partnerships to boost healthcare in the GCC, Ahmed noted.
Further, he added that international healthcare investors looking to invest in healthcare in the GCC can do so through lease models (if they would like to steer away from being involved in real estate aspects), management agreements with international operators, and joint ventures with operators.
For more insights and discussion around the MENA real estate market and to catch-up on Mansoor Ahmed’s session, attend the Cityscape GCC Summit live from 5-6th October or on-demand throughout October and November 2021. Sign up for free here.