Dubai’s debate over Medical Tourism Figures

The headline figures are that Dubai had 630,833 medical tourists in 2015 and targets a million by 2020. But only 296,491 (47%) came from outside of the UAE. Total revenue from both types was US$400 million. Both categories include expatriates working in the Gulf.

Dr Layla Al Marzouqi of the Dubai Medical Tourism Project openly admits that of that 630,833 only 296,491 came from outside of the UAE. The 2020 target for this sector is 500,000.

The figures only come from the 26 hospitals and clinics in Dubai that are responsible for medical tourism. This suggests that actual figures could be higher. In the future the other 2,730 health care facilities in Dubai will collect data to provide a more comprehensive picture of the actual number of medical tourists. But in Dubai there are only 31 hospitals, so the extra numbers from this mass data collection are not expected to be high.


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