Local clinic sees significant rise in medical tourists visiting emirate for aesthetic procedures
Dubai has the highest ratio of plastic surgeons per capita in the world — 50 doctors for every million people, according to a 2015 report by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA). Meanwhile, membership to the Emirates Plastic Surgery Society has tripled to 180 in 2016, up from 60 in 2006. This unprecedented growth, driven by the rising demand for cosmetic treatments in the emirate, will contribute heavily to DHA’s target of half-a-million medical tourists by 2020, as per local dentistry, plastic and aesthetic laser surgery clinic Vilafortuny.
“In the last few years, Dubai has become the world’s nip-and-tuck hub – the ‘place to go’ for aesthetic enhancements. The high standards maintained by hospitals and clinics here, coupled with the affordability of treatments, is drawing in an increasing number of medical tourists every year. Additionally, trained and highly-skilled practitioners from around the world are now practicing in Dubai,” said Dr. Kathrin Trelles, founder of Vilafortuny, and an experienced implantologist and cosmetic laser dentist, on factors spurring growth in the emirate’s medical tourism.
Meanwhile, the government of Dubai is also promoting cosmetic surgeries in through special packages, which include discounted visa, accommodation and insurance costs. During summer last year the government launched the ‘Be Beautiful in Dubai’ campaign, which promoted such packages.
Dr. Trelles further noted: “Along with technological advances in the field, the last five years have come stitched on with dramatic changes in society, including a major shift in the attitude toward cosmetic procedures: once limited to movie stars and the wealthy, such procedures have now become more mainstream. Candidates for cosmetic procedures now come from different gender, age and income groups. Currently, some of the most sought-after cosmetic procedures in Dubai are breast enlargements, nose reshaping, facelifts, liposuctions and tummy tucks.”
As per the DHA, its half-a-million medical tourists by 2020 target – a part of its ‘Dubai, a Global Destination for Medical Tourism’ project – could benefit Dubai’s economy by up to AED 2.6 billion.