Dubai Health Authority Collaborates with Knight Frank MEA’s Healthcare Division to release Dubai Health Investment Guide 2024

Dubai, 9th May 2024 – Knight Frank MEA’s Healthcare division is proud to announce its collaboration with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) in releasing the latest edition the Dubai Health Investment Guide 2024. Serving as dedicated research partners, Knight Frank MENA’s Healthcare division has contributed to the creation of this comprehensive guide, specifically designed to cater to the requirements of healthcare investors and operators. The guide offers a detailed roadmap for navigating Dubai’s thriving healthcare landscape.

Dubai has emerged as a global healthcare hub, recognised for its outstanding healthcare services and infrastructure. The Dubai Health Investment Guide 2024 aims to align investment priorities with the ever-evolving healthcare demands of Dubai’s diverse and growing population. This invaluable resource offers in-depth data, strategic insights, and a thorough understanding of the investment ecosystem, governance, and regulatory framework within Dubai’s healthcare sector.

According to Joint Commission International, UAE is ranked 1 in the number of internationally accredited establishments with 196 healthcare facilities. Globally, Dubai was ranked 6 and 1 in GCC, among attractive medical travel destinations in the Medical Tourism Index 2020-2021.

Dr Ibtesam Al Bastaki – Director of Investment & Partnership, Dubai Health Authority says: “At the heart of our healthcare investment strategy is a commitment to fostering innovation, collaboration, and partnerships that will help us achieve our goals. We believe that by working together with leading healthcare providers, researchers, and innovators from around the world, we can create a healthcare ecosystem that delivers exceptional patient care, drives medical innovation, and contributes to the overall well-being of our society.

By focusing on startup innovation, collaboration and partnership, we can ensure that Dubai continues to be a leading destination for healthcare investment and innovation, and that we provide our citizens and residents with the best possible healthcare services.”

The UAE, with its world-renowned healthcare system, has experienced substantial growth in the number of healthcare facilities and professionals, demonstrating a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.3% in healthcare professionals from 2018 to 2023. This growth can be attributed to the increase in population and the implementation of mandatory insurance.

Shehzad Jamal – Partner, Strategy & Consultancy, MEA says: “Dubai has witnessed an increase in population across all age groups between 2005-2022. The population between the ages of 20-39 years grew by 2X and between 0-19 years and 40-59 years grew by 3X indicating demand for services such as primary care, obstetrics & gynaecology, and paediatrics. This has led to leading healthcare providers shifting their focus from traditional multi-specialty hospitals and develop Center of Excellence concepts within these specialties.”

Dubai’s private sector has been a driving force behind the development of the city’s healthcare infrastructure, transforming it into a regional medical tourism hub. In 2022, 98% of Dubai’s population was covered by medical insurance, with healthcare expenses reaching approximately AED 21.4 billion. The volume of insured population is expected to witness further growth as the population increases, owing to the mandatory healthcare insurance in Dubai. This will create a strain on the existing healthcare infrastructure and also indicates the demand for additional inpatient and outpatient facilities.

While Dubai’s healthcare sector has seen significant growth in primary and secondary care to meet the demands of its dynamic population, there remains substantial growth potential, particularly in addressing non-communicable diseases. Bloomberg’s Health Efficiency Index 2020 ranks the UAE among the top 15 economies with the most efficient healthcare sector, and it holds the highest ranking in the Middle East.

Drivers in Healthcare and Health Investment Opportunities

Dubai Healthcare Investments and Partnerships play a pivotal role in fostering economic vitality within the sector by attracting foreign direct investment, addressing current gaps, and providing a sustainable public/private investment model to facilitate future investments.

Key drivers in healthcare investment include increasing utilisation of private healthcare services, Dubai’s position as a health tourism hub, population growth, the prevalence of chronic diseases, and mandatory health insurance.

The population above the age of 60 is expected to triple by 2030, driving the demand for elderly care services, including homecare, long-term care, and rehabilitation facilities.

Private sector utilisation has also witnessed significant growth, with 83% of inpatients and 73% of outpatients choosing private healthcare facilities in 2022. Additionally, the private sector has seen a CAGR of 15.6% in the number of inpatient beds between 2020 to 2022, while the public sector has grown at a CAGR of 6.8% during the same time frame.

The Dubai Health Investment Guide highlights the importance of healthcare facilities for High Net-Worth Individuals (HNWIs) and their consideration when choosing a residential community. This presents a compelling case for outpatient and inpatient facilities within various sectors.

Investment areas that address the continuum of care needs include long-term care and rehabilitation, specialised centres, home health, telehealth services, and chronic disease management. Urgent care walk-in clinics can help reduce pressure on emergency rooms, and mental and behavioural health services have witnessed significant growth in both the private and public sectors.

Wellness and anti-aging are also emerging as a rapidly growing sector, with domestic wellness tourists spending significantly more than average tourists. Precision medicine is a key focus in the UAE, with the launch of the National Genome Strategy in March 2023, making Dubai a hub for personalised healthcare.

Jamal continues: “In 2022, Dubai welcomed over 674,000 health tourists, generating approximately AED 992 million in revenue. The Health Tourism Department in DHA supports Dubai as a global tourism destination, offering access to premier healthcare facilities and experts. Dubai now offers a range of healthcare facilities, including medical spas, integrated health centres, and alternative treatment centres such as homeopathy and ayurveda.”

Dr Gireesh Kumar – Associate Partner in Strategy & Consultancy, Healthcare, MEA says: “The city has witnessed expansion towards the south and east (sector 6 and 3), which indicates demand for additional healthcare facilities to be able to cater to the new residents in these districts. In addition, the older districts in the city will also witness demand for healthcare services but predominantly towards specialty care creating demand for Center of Excellence concepts. It is important to plan healthcare facilities based on the demands and positioning of the catchment area or target segment of patients.”

Health Tourism in Dubai

The Health Tourism Department in DHA supports Dubai as a global health tourism destination and a gateway to the finest medical experts and premier accredited healthcare facilities. As part of Dubai Health Experience (DXH), launched by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, a continuation of ‘Dubai, a Global Destination for Medical Tourism’, DXH is focused on building strong ties with Dubai’s finest healthcare providers to create an unmatched experience for health tourists. DXH today embraces 111 of Dubai’s leading healthcare providers. The primary nationalities of health tourists are as follows: 39% from Asia, 22% from European and CIS countries, and 21% from GCC and Arab nations.

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