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Dubai targets 500,000 medical tourists by 2020

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

dubai 3nightAccording to Dubai's medical tourism strategy announced in 2014, the emirate aims to attract 500,000 medical tourists by 2020, the year in which the city would host the World Expo.

The target for the first phase is to bring in 170,000 medical tourists by 2016, a jump of over 50,000 from the 107,000 arrivals in 2012.

Public and private healthcare facilities and government departmentsare working together to facilitate entry and best-in-class treatment in a range of medical specialties for patients from across the world, particularly from the GCC, South Asia and CIS countries.

Dubai has over 22 hospitals, accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI), the world's leading accreditor of hospitals. JCI accreditation requires exceptional standards in patient safety, particularly reduction of medical errors, as well as consistent commitment to quality and excellence in services and operations. Such reliable metrics on international standards and quality are important for people looking for the best available treatment away from home.

Under an agreement between Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), people seeking medical care in Dubai can avail of three-month, twice-extendable visas. DHA is also working with government bodies concerned to offer tourist packages and visas as part of the medical tourism strategy.

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