Health Professions January 28, 2019
Health investment needs and opportunities in Dubai

By News - World Healthcare Journal

Dubai remains one of the fastest growing cities in the world, and Dubai leads the way for private sector participation in healthcare in the MENA region.

The private sector healthcare providers in Dubai have contributed to developing a strong health ecosystem; they account for over 79 per cent of the utilization for outpatient services and more than 74 per cent of inpatient services. This is in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. It is also within the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council.


Dubai has achieved a number of qualitative accomplishments in the development of its healthcare system due to the availability of infrastructure resources, the human resources potential, and the ambitious plans to improve the healthcare sector in the emirate. Our aim is to attract investments that benefit the emirate and the community via an investment strategy in the health sector in line with the emirate’s aspirations to provide a healthy global model that also meets with the objectives of the Dubai Plan 2021. ” - Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al MaktoumDeputy Ruler of Dubai.

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Increase in demand for quality health services due to Dubai’s rapid urban development, population growth and influx of medical tourists is one of the biggest challenges facing the Dubai Health Authority. Many of the world’s largest hospitals and specialised centres have invested in Dubai’s healthcare sector after realising the city’s unique investment climate, which provides a number of investment incentives in the healthcare sector.

The Dubai Health Investment Guide, a key initiative of the Dubai Health Investment Strategy 2017-21, is aimed at providing investors and private sector health facilities with information on investment priorities and gaps as well as mapping the investor journey for health investments, key developments in the health sector while highlighting the drivers that underpin investment and growth in the health sector in Dubai.

Dubai’s health sector has seen tremendous growth over the last few years, with the number of licensed health facilities growing to 3,100 by April 2018 from approximately 2,800 facilities in 2014 with an approximate year-over-year growth of four per cent. This increase includes private hospitals, specialised health centres, pharmacies, diagnostic centres and dental centres.

In the same period, the number of licensed medical professionals has grown from 30,600 in 2014 to 38,500 in April 2018, at a rate of approximately eight per cent year-over-year. The growth we see is supported by a rise in population, rising utilisation of health services specifically in the private sector, the implementation of mandatory health insurance which has seen approximately 98 per cent of Dubai’s resident population covered by health insurance (as of 3 September 2018), and an increase in healthcare spending due to growing confidence in the health system and improved access to specialised health services in the Emirate of Dubai.


Dubai’s attractive location along with the availability of high-quality medical professionals and technology has enabled the city to build a strong and favourable platform to build its medical tourism capabilities. We are constantly working on developing this sector keeping in mind patient safety, high-quality health services, and excellent patient experience. ” - His Excellency Humaid Mohammed Obaid Al Qatami, Director General, Dubai Health Authority.

His Excellency Humaid Mohammed Obaid Al Qatami

While we have a robust health sector, we continue to develop all of our systems to create a suitable environment for local and international investors in the medical field. We have a strong regulatory system in place that upgrades, reviews and develops healthcare standards and regulations to ensure we provide high-quality medical services to our population and medical tourists.


“To meet the growing developments and private sector investment in Dubai healthcare, the DHA is developing its regulatory standards to ensure the delivery of high medical standards that exceed expectations, and to provide the emirate with skilled and highly qualified health professionals,” - Dr Marwan Al Mulla, CEO, Health Regulations Sector.

Dr Marwan Al Mulla

“We are focused on engaging, supporting and facilitating sustainable priority investments in the health sector with the aim of providing the best health services in the Emirate of Dubai, and to continue to develop Dubai as a hub for medical tourism and innovation in healthcare. ” - Dr Ibtesam Al Bastaki, Director, Investments & PPP’s Dept., DHA

“We have developed the Dubai Health Investment Guide 2018-25, with an aim to provide investors and private sector providers with comprehensive information that will provide them with insights on investment opportunities and clarity on the investment process and upcoming reforms, supporting their investment decisions and thus helping us address health system gaps and priorities over the coming years. ” - Dr. Ibtesam Al Bastaki, Director, Investments & PPP’s Dept., DHA

Dr Ibtesam Al Bastaki

Key Highlights of the Health Investment Guide 2019

  • The Health Investment Guide lists the advantages of investing in Dubai and presents a snapshot of the health system in Dubai with key trends on patient volumes, growth health infrastructure and health spending;
  • It details the drivers underpinning the growth of healthcare demand in the Emirate of Dubai which includes the growing population, strong and diversified economy, stable and attractive investment climate, rising burden of disease and prevalence of chronic diseases, rise in health tourism among others;
  • An overview of health regulations and the health insurance system which includes upcoming changes and initiatives relevant to investors;
  • Mapping of the investment journey for different types of health facilities and for health professionals;
  • Snapshot of the investment needs and priorities for outpatient care units and acute inpatient beds for 2020, 2025 and 2030 based on comprehensive surveys and analysis of demand and supply projections across speciality service types for the Emirate of Dubai from the Dubai Clinical Services Capacity Plan 2018-2030;
  • A snapshot of freezones in Dubai focused on supporting healthcare and life sciences and key initiatives by DHA to support health tourism in Dubai, and health innovation through Dubai Future Accelerators program.

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