Developing Global medical tourism destination Dubai

UAE-headquartered hospitality company, TIME Hotels Management, has announced the latest in a series of property management contract deals with the signing of a new five-star hotel located just a few minutes from the city’s medical services hub – Dubai Healthcare City.

Developing Global medical tourism destination Dubai and TIME Hotel Management

Part of the group’s ambitious regional development programme, the latest announcement comes hot on the heels of news of its first Egypt resort property in the popular Red Sea tourist destination of Sahl Hasheesh, close to Hurghada.

The 277-room TIME Royal Hotel will occupy a prime position off the Sheikh Rashid Road with easy access to popular luxury retail hub, Wafi Mall, and a 10-minute drive from Dubai International Airport.

Under development by Awtad Investment Company the AED200 million hotel is set to open in 2016 and will offer guests a choice of two restaurants, a coffee shop, fully-equipped gymnasium, swimming pool, spa and 684-square metres of state-of-the-art meeting space.

“The new Wafi location will complement our existing properties which are located at opposite ends of the city in Barsha/TECOM and Al Qusais, and will also add much-needed room stock to the Oud Metha area which is home to Dubai Healthcare City,” said Mohamed Awadalla, CEO, TIME Hotels.

“Dubai plans to position the emirate as a global medical tourism destination by 2020 with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) targeting 500,000 medical tourists with expected revenues of AED2.6 billion. To support this ambitious strategy it is imperative that Oud Metha’s hospitality capacity is enhanced as the area is currently underserviced in terms of hotel rooms,” he added.

The DHA is targeting a broad spectrum of treatment-seeking visitors including nationals from the GCC countries and South Asian medical tourists, which, according to Awadalla, is a fit with TIME Hotels’ own sales and marketing strategy.

“We will also add more value to the market with two rooms per floor at our new Wafi property specifically designed to be handicap-accessible; which is a first for the city and a unique selling point for the promotion of Dubai as a leading destination for medical tourism,” he said.

The hotel will also be wheelchair friendly with ramps sited throughout its major public areas and with adapted elevator access.

TIME Royal Hotel’s convenient location along one of the city’s main thoroughfares also makes it a good option for guests needing to be within a short drive of the embassies district, Dubai’s financial hub and major leisure attractions such as Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa and the historic Dubai Creek.

“The addition of Wafi will boost our collection of UAE hotels and hotel apartments to eight properties, and with a pipeline of five further properties in Abu Dhabi, Doha and Egypt, we are on target to reach our goal of 13 properties by 2016,” remarked Awadalla.

Source: etn

Dubai to be world medical tourism hub


DHA meets with all stakeholders to discuss turning proposal into reality
With world-class health facilities and internationally accredited hospitals, Dubai is all set to be the top hub for world medical tourism.

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) convened a meeting earlier this week with all stakeholders in the medical tourism initiative to tap into the possibility of turning this proposal into reality.

The meeting was organised under the leadership of Director General of DHA, Engineer Eisa Al Maidour, with representatives of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDFRA), Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Department of Economic Development (DED), Emirates airline, Emirates Holidays and Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), among others.

“We look forward to collaborating with all stakeholders to ensure we devise a comprehensive system that provides patients with convenience from the time they enter Dubai right through treatment and even follow-up. Dubai is the world’s leading destination for tourism and leisure and since Dubai offers excellent health-care facilities, medical tourism is an extension of the hospitality that Dubai is synonymous with. Ensuring that all players work hand-in-hand with us and are aligned with the overall medical tourism strategy will ensure smooth functioning of a dynastic health sector and will benefit both medical tourists as well as the health-care providers,” he said.

According to DTCM statistics, the city had a record number of visitors — 10 million — in 2012 and aims to have more than 20 million visitors by 2020. If medical tourism is properly organised it can become a viable source of revenue. If we go by the global medical tourism revenues these are estimated at $30 million (Dh109.80 million) and are expected to only grow by leaps and bounds. Dubai can perhaps be a major contributor to this world-wide phenomenon if all stakeholders work according to a plan. Currently the total number of health facilities in Dubai are 2,518 and more than 70 per cent of hospitals here have international accreditations.

All these figures work in favour of world medical tourists coming here for complex treatments.

Dr Ramadan Ebrahim, director of medical regulation and medical tourism programme at DHA, said that he would be working closely with hospitals to ensure that they fulfil the medical tourism eligibility criteria. “Hospitals will be asked to chalk out medical tourism packages. The package will include treatment, visa, hotel accommodation as well as recreational activities for families who accompany the patient.

“The first package will be launched in October this year and will be wellness and preventive services package. This includes executive full body check-ups etc. In addition to medical facilities, we will also evaluate health-care facilities on the basis of the comfort and ease they provide patients. This includes checking whether they have translators, chauffer services, etc, which will all be part of the medical tourism package. At the end of the day, it’s about providing both excellence in medical service.”

Dr Ebrahim also added that the Dubai medical tourism website will be launched by the last quarter of this year — all member details and hyperlinks will be on the comprehensive site.

Source: gulf news

Executive council nod for Dubai medical tourism plan

The DEC members discussed the plan to transform Dubai into a global hub for health tourism as proposed by the Dubai Health Authority.

The Dubai Executive Council (DEC) on Wednesday approved a plan to implement the strategy to turn Dubai into a world hub for medical tourism.

A meeting of the council chaired by Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, also discussed a proposal to invest wisely the plots of land set aside for housing with the aim of earning sustainable profits to support the housing projects in the emirate and to give a backup to the government.

The DEC members discussed the plan to transform Dubai into a global hub for health tourism as proposed by the Dubai Health Authority. According to the plan, Dubai would provide selected, distinctive and quality health services at competitive prices which would attract tourists visiting the emirate.

The plan aims to build a system which would boost excellence in the field of healthcare, which would attract people willing to get curative services to the emirate of Dubai.

The Dubai Health Authority has laid down a comprehensive strategy to achieve a number of investment targets in health tourism in six medical areas of specialisation, including dentistry, plastic surgery, ophthalmic surgery, general medical checkups, orthopedic surgery and sports medicine, in addition to recuperation and healing from skin diseases.

The executive plan has been developed to include four main pillars: competition and prioritisation; Dubai’s global status; increasing the number of tourists and medical revenues through delivery of high-quality medical services; and achieving medical sustainability.

The other proposals and projects discussed during the meeting included the investment of land allocated for housing to achieve a sustainable income to support housing projects and government’s support for these projects and providing sites for the delivery of public services near residential complexes that the Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment has embarked on constructing.

Source: Khaleej Times

MERS virus found in camels in Qatar, linked to human spread

Scientists have found cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in camels in Qatar, health officials said on Thursday, fuelling speculation that camels might be the animal reservoir that allowed the virus to infect and kill humans.

The SARS-like coronavirus, which emerged in the Middle East last year and has killed almost 40% of the around 170 people so far infected, was found in three camels of a herd in a barn also linked to two human cases of MERS infection.

“The three camels were investigated among a herd of 14 camels, and the samples were collected as part of the epidemiological investigation,” Qatar’s Supreme Council of Health said in a statement. It added that the two confirmed human cases linked to the barn “have since then recovered”.

Ab Osterhaus, a professor of virology at the Erasmus Medical Centre in Netherlands who worked on the camel study, told Reuters the results were confirmed by a range of tests including sequencing and antibody testing.

Scientists around the world have been seeking to pin down the animal source of MERS virus infections ever since the first human cases were confirmed. World Health Organisation (WHO) said in its latest MERS update on 22 November that of the 176 laboratory-confirmed and probable reported human cases to date, 69 people have died.

British researchers who conducted some of the very first genetic analyses on MERS last September said the virus, which is from the same family as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), is also related to a virus found in bats.

Dutch scientists said in August they had found strong evidence that the MERS virus is widespread among one-humped dromedary camels in the Middle East—suggesting people who become infected may be catching it from camels used for meat, milk, transport and racing.

And Saudi officials said earlier this month that a camel there had tested positive for MERS a few days after its owner was confirmed to have the virus.

Human cases of MERS, which can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia, have so far been reported in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Tunisia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Britain.

Osterhaus, whose team worked with the Qatar’s health and environment ministries on the study, said that at this stage “no more details can be disclosed” about these latest findings since a scientific paper is in the process of being prepared and submitted for peer review and publication.

The Qatari health council however said that as a precaution, the elderly and people with underlying health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and respiratory illnesses should avoid any close animal contact when visiting farms and markets

Source: Live Mint