Private Investment in Healthcare Soaring in the Gulf


Fraser Clarke

Private investment in the UAE’s healthcare sector will continue to rise according to a recently published report.

Alpen Capital’s Gulf Cooperation Country Healthcare Report has highlighted more than 700 ongoing healthcare projects in the Emirates as a reason for the positive growth.

Healthcare expenditure across the GCC region is now expected to reach $104.6bn by 2022, a growth of 6.6% annually from the current figure of $76.1bn recorded last year.

In the report, the impact made by local businesses was considered especially noteworthy, with the recent expansion at Zulekha Hospital in Dubai highlighted as a particular success.

Announced in January, the development saw 60 inpatient beds, plus additional theatre space and labour rooms added to increase the total capacity to 179 beds.

That expansion was announced at the same time as plans for a new hospital in Sharjah, whilst the group has also continued to expand its business in India.

Managing director at Zulekha Healthcare, Taher Shams, told the Khaleej times: “The region's increasing population, demographic shifts, high prevalence of chronic diseases with modern sophisticated lifestyles, combined with the mission of becoming a regional medical tourism hub are all driving the expansion of the country's healthcare market. 

“The need for accurate, secure and fast data analysis to manage critical information is becoming indispensable.”

Another group contributing to the impressive growth figures are NMC Health, an Indian founded company who are now listed on the London Stock Exchange.

NMC currently operate more than 30 facilities throughout the United Arab Emirates, whilst they have recently expanded successfully into Saudi Arabia. That hasn’t quenched their desire for expansion however, a fact outlined by CEO Prasnath Manghat.

He said: “The UAE has seen some tremendous growth after the introduction of mandatory health insurance in Abu Dhabi and now in Dubai. As highlighted in a report by the US-UAE Business Council on the UAE healthcare sector, the UAE has witnessed a dramatic expansion of its healthcare industry over the past 4 decades. 

“At the time of the UAE's founding in 1971, the country had just seven hospitals and 12 health centres. As of the end of 2016, it had over 70 public and private hospitals and 150 centres and clinics focused on primary care. There could be consolidation happening among businesses in the near future and healthcare brands could look at the less saturated markets of the western region of Abu Dhabi and the northern emirates of the UAE. Yet, in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, there is still a lot that can be done.”

Despite a drop in the oil-price, healthcare in the UAE remains a lucrative market. To get ahead of the rest in securing a role in the country, register on our website today.

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