New healthcare facilities deal in GCC to top $9bn
Dubai, August 25, 2014
GCC is on track to record more than $9.5 billion in new contracts for medical facilities by the end of the year, reflecting a 25 per cent increase over 2013, a report said.
Dubai expects 500,000 patients for treatment by 2020 as part of its drive to become a centre for medical excellence in the region and bring a new stream of visitor revenue, according to the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), reported Wam, the Emirates’ official news agency.
A total of 18 private and four public hospitals will be built over the next few years to accommodate the inflow of patients, the Wam report quoted the DHA.
The UAE, which claims a place among the top 20 global destinations for medical tourism, spends 3.3 per cent of its GDP on healthcare, the third highest in the GCC, the report said.
According to Alpen Capital Investment Banking, UAE’s medical tourism sector drew revenue of $1.69 billion last year.
"The UAE spends an estimated $ 2 billion a year to send patients abroad for treatment," Andy White, group event director of The Big 5, the Middle East’s largest building and construction exhibition, was quoted as saying in the report.
"Gulf countries are spending heavily to ensure they can provide the best treatment inside their country and, in the case of the UAE, encourage medical tourists."
"Rising populations and changing demographics are creating a need for more specialised facilities, and in turn driving demand for more buildings. This is providing yet another opportunity for the region’s construction sector, and firms are getting the chance to work on some of the most exciting healthcare projects," White added.
Saudi Arabia is spending more than $23 billion renovating its healthcare facilities, with the $1.7 billion King Abdullah Medical City in Makkah set to have 1,500 beds in total, according to Frost & Sullivan.
Kuwait has awarded a $938 million project involving the construction of three buildings making up a new hospital, including an ER facility, the report said, adding that the $ 1.26 billion New Jahra hospital project is currently under tender for construction.
The Big 5 building and construction exhibition will feature information and products vital to the successful delivery of these medical projects, including insights from key experts in the industry presenting at conferences and workshops, the report said.