HEALTH meets with Dr. Layla Mohamed Al Marzouqi, Director, The Medical Tourism Council, Dubai, UAE, to learn more about the Dubai government’s latest initiatives in promoting Dubai as a key medical tourism hub.
MEDICAL TOURISM PLANS
“We have a long-term target we want to reach by 2020 where we obtain half a million medical tourists coming to Dubai for treatment from abroad. We want to be number one in the region and in the top 16 countries worldwide. Therefore, our target has not changed this year, but the methodology to reach this target has changed because we started in 2014 by launching our brand ‘The Dubai Health Experience’ (DXH). Then we launched our website, and then after that, the mobile app. Then with all of this, the government started to promote Dubai as a medical tourism destination; all in 2014.”
“We have done this to achieve our target for 2020. But before doing anything you should have an identity; so you need a brand, then a website, and then a mobile app so people can go and search for us if they need any information. Then after the branding, we began marketing. We started with media and social media as well. Then this year, we concentrated mostly on road shows. In previous years, we had concentrated mostly on attending exhibits, participating in conferences, and talking about the experience of Dubai. But this year, we are concentrating on road shows which we have done in Nigeria, Ghana, China, and then also the GCC as this is our target market. We are really trying to market Dubai as a destination for medical and health tourism worldwide.”
“The UAE hospitals and medical facilities are becoming more medical tourism oriented and we have more evidence here, in Thumbay Hospital, Dubai with the special Marhaba Lounge for medical tourists, special regional food menus, and even interpreters who are in place if required. The Dubai experience is a brand name–the ‘Dubai Health Experience.’ It’s not only the wellness and medical health packages, but also an entire holistic approach. All of the aspects of medical tourism are important; this year in particular, we are concentrating on the wellness and antiaging aspect of medical tourism.”
“We have one target and we are aiming to achieve that. We want to put Dubai in front of everyone’s eyes as a destination for health and medical tourism. The Marhaba Lounge at Thumbay Hospital, Dubai will serve our vision in helping attract more and more medical tourists to Dubai. I think your services here will have a big demand in the near future…”