The Dubai Mall attracted some 80 million visitors in 2014, more than any other lifestyle destination in the world.
Health and tourism officials in Dubai are outdoing themselves not to disappoint. The city hopes to attract 500,000 medical tourism patients annually and generate up to Dh2.6 billion in revenue in the next five years. As part of this strategy, the government unveiled plans to build a Dh1 billion smart hospital and medical university that will, when completed in 2019, house 300 beds across 150,000 square meters in a free-zone park.
Fakeeh Academic Medical Centre, which will feature robotic surgery and an automated medication-dispensing system, is one of 22 new hospitals planned for construction by 2020. To cope with the anticipated elevated stream of patients, the government has slashed some of the red tape that constricts international physicians from practicing in Dubai.
Dr. Ramadan Al Blooshi. Managing Director, Dubai Healthcare City Regulatory, said the visiting physician license, which will display credentials and past performance data, will enable specialists to practice in the city for up to one month at a time.
“The timeline to license a professional is two to three months, on average, but can take up to nine months, Dr. Al Blooshi told The National. “You have to check everything, from certificates to good standing, exam qualifications and title. Because it can take a long time to approve, it puts off some top specialists from coming to Dubai for work.”
Dubai broke new ground earlier this year, when surgeons performed a four-joint simultaneous replacement procedure on the knee and hip.
Internationally recognized physicians are beginning to find their way to Dubai, which has staked claim to groundbreaking procedures that included a four-joint replacement surgery performed simultaneously on the hip and knee; and a minimally invasive procedure to repair a severely damaged aorta in a 27-year-old accident victim all within the past month. Still another breakthrough involved two corrective operations to replace a diseased aorta with an artificial graft.