Dubai ready to restart medical tourism


The 2021 target is still achievable according to the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), which believes tourists are waiting to travel to Dubai for health or medical reasons and will resume their plans now that the emirate has lifted entry restrictions and resumed normal hospital services for both inpatients and outpatients.

Dubai saw 350,000 medical tourists in 2019, and with the current world travel situation, this target is ambitious.  However, the DHA argues that the emirate is well prepared. During the first half of 2020 it has, for example, licensed 3,397 health facilities, 45 of which are new.

The reopening of airports, aggressive testing and sanitisation, and resumption of elective surgeries and other healthcare services are also clear indicators of Dubai’s readiness to restart medical tourism.

Dubai plans to enhance its medical tourism offering include a renewed focus on preventive and alternative health practices such as Ayurveda, homeopathy and yoga.

Dubai is open to international tourists, but they must stringently comply with preventive measures and safety procedures put in place by Dubai and source countries.

Tourists are required to present a recent COVID-19 negative certificate or undergo testing at Dubai airports, with those testing positive to observe a 14-day isolation. A test for coronavirus is mandatory and should be done 96 hours before travelling to Dubai.

Visitors are also required to have international health insurance, download a phone app that lists their details, and submit a special health declaration form. A recent new extra rule is that passengers travelling from 29 countries are required to take a second PCR test upon arrival. 

Countries included by Dubai as medical tourism targets are:

  • Egypt
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Lebanon
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Russia
  • Uzbekistan


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