The following was originally published in the October 2019 special print edition of Medical Tourism Magazine, which was initially available at the 12th annual World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress in Abu Dhabi.
The emirate of Abu Dhabi is known for many things: for its diverse natural beauty and luxury experiences; as a hub for renowned cultural attractions, events, and leisure activities; for its inimitable blend of tradition and innovation; as a beacon of tolerance and safety in an often turbulent region.
These are all contributing factors to the ever-increasing popularity of Abu Dhabi as a tourism destination which provides a uniquely memorable visitor experience. In an effort to further fuel the dynamic growth of the capital, and in sync with the United Arab Emirates’ economic diversification plan, the Department of Culture and Tourism—Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) now seeks to tap into the global medical tourism market, and support its strategy to transform the emirate into a world-class healthcare hub.
With Abu Dhabi already known as a preeminent destination for business, cultural, and other specialized types of tourism, DCT Abu Dhabi, together with our partners at the Department of Health, is establishing the emirate as an all-encompassing destination for residents and visitors seeking state-of-the-art healthcare services. This forward-looking strategy will provide an additional boost to Abu Dhabi’s thriving hospitality sector by targeting inbound medical tourists from key markets including Russia, India, China, and the GCC.
Why Abu Dhabi?
The push forward into this sector aligns perfectly with the emirate’s capabilities, as Abu Dhabi offers a complete package of quality, convenience, safety, and entertainment that will
appeal to medical tourists.
Abu Dhabi offers cutting-edge medical infrastructure, facilities, and treatments, and embraces a holistic environment for rejuvenation and recovery. Seeking treatment in Abu Dhabi not only provides traveling patients with high-end medical services but ensures they are being taken care of from the moment they set foot in the emirate until they depart safely. With an easy-to-obtain medical visa, on-ground transportation, and fully-involved hotels and tourism agencies, patients will enjoy a steady and smooth recovery while feeling right at home.
In addition, Abu Dhabi offers a wide range of world-class hotels, attractions, activities, events and retail outlets to further enrich the experience of those receiving treatment in the emirate.
Top Quality Care
Abu Dhabi has already succeeded in distinguishing itself from other cities with regards to JAWDA, a quality index that provides precise data and figures of the quality and standards of healthcare services offered in different cities and countries, enabling patients to decide on the right destination for the best treatment.
The Department of Health launched the “Abu Dhabi Healthcare Quality Indicators – JAWDA” programme in 2014, with the aim of improving the quality of healthcare services provided to nationals and residents in the emirate.
The quality metrics cover four main areas: safety, effectiveness of care, timeliness of service delivery, and patient-centric delivery of care. Abu Dhabi is not only growing as a major global tourism destination, but is now also one of the most popular countries for medical tourism in the region.
The Latest Technology
Abu Dhabi takes pride in an innovative spirit, and as such, healthcare facilities boast technologies and methodologies at the bleeding edge of medical diagnostics and practice. For example, many operations are being done using the most advanced robotic surgery approaches that enhance the precision and success of open surgeries, while specialised machinery such as the wide-bore high-field strength 3 Tesla MRI provides crisp images of even the smallest structures in the body, aiding diagnosis of conditions that might be missed in other MRI units.
A Safe Destination
Abu Dhabi also has a solid reputation for safety, an aspect of living that brings great pride to all residents. The emirate has been ranked the safest city in the world twice, taking into account our outstanding digital security, health security, infrastructure safety, and personal security. Safety closely follows the desire for excellent healthcare amongst the top priorities of travelling patients, and Abu Dhabi achieves the highest ranks in both categories in contrast with many other countries.
A Convenient Location
Abu Dhabi’s location in the Arabian Gulf places at the perfect crossroads for the world’s population. Abu Dhabi is also home to Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, which connects the capital to the Middle East,Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas.
On arrival into Abu Dhabi, travellers will find an award-winning terminal in Abu Dhabi International Airport - one of the world’s most customer-friendly airports and the winner of the 2013 World Airport Awards ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ accolade. Entry visas are available upon arrival at the airport and are free-of-charge for citizens of numerous countries around the world.
GCC citizens do not need a visa to enter the UAE. Patients travelling via Etihad Airways can have their visa arranged for them upon request, and five, four andthree-star hotels may also apply for visas on behalf of guests.
At a time when the world’s medical travel industry is growing at an unprecedented rate, the sector is one of great opportunity, and with the aforementioned assets of convenience, safety, technology and expertise to call upon – coupled with the Arabian hospitality and luxurious facilities offered by our world-class hotels – Abu Dhabi is in a healthy position to establish itself as a global leader in the field.