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SAUDI TO EARN $63bn FROM TOURISM

Delegates at the congress.

Arabs 'spend $27bn on health tourism a year'

DUBAI, September 7, 2015

Arabs spend a whopping $27 billion annually on health tourism and this figure is expected to rise significantly in the coming years, it was revealed at the 10th World Health Tourism Congress (WHTC), held in Dubai, UAE.  

The two-day congress,  organised by Grand Aurum Marketing with the cooperation of Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and support of Arab Tourism Organization and Executive Board of GCC health ministers, concluded at the  Mohammed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Centre in Dubai Health Care City (DHCC) today (September 7).  

It was attended by ministers, senior government officials, medical and health experts and other tourism industry stakeholders from more than 80 countries.

Dr Bandar Bin Fahd Al-Fehaid, president of the Arab Tourism Organisation of the Arab League, highlighted the efforts of the Arab states to promote and market health tourism within the region and outside.

The size of the global tourism industry, which currently stands at an estimated $100 billion, has been growing significantly each passing year, the congress was told.

Dr Tawfiq bin Ahmed Khoja, director general of the executive board of the GCC Health Ministers Council, gave a presentation about the transformation of health tourism sector globally and regionally.

He said several countries in the region are already recognised for being home to internationally-recognised hospitals with 42 hospitals in Saudi Arabia and 39 in the UAE having Joint Commission International (JCI) recognition.

He praised the efforts made by the Dubai Health Authority to develop health tourism, pointing out that Dubai was a competitive destination for health tourism compared with Switzerland, Germany and the UK.

Tourism in Saudi Arabia accounts for  the second largest source of income after oil, bringing in $13.8 billion annually and this figure is expected to rise to $63.7 billion in 2019, he said.

The Dubai Healthcare City has achieved significant growth over the past years with over half a million people coming for medical treatments in 2011 and since then the growth in medical tourists has been constantly increasing.
He attributed the success of health tourism in the region to the availability of world-class tourist and medical infrastructure, wide usage of English language and cost factor.

Tamer El Chamaa, director of the congress, thanked the participants and organisations which supported the congress for making the event a huge success.

Commenting on the success of the congress, Ghassan Aridi, CEO of Alpha Destination Management, said health tourism in the UAE in general and Dubai in particular has been witnessing major developments in terms of the availability of latest medical technologies, treatments and specialists, which thereby contributing to an increase in the number of people coming for treatment and recreation from around the world. - TradeArabia News Service
 




Tags: Dubai | Arabs | Health tourism |

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