The International Healthcare Research Center (IHRC) is publishing a special edition of its Medical Tourism Index (MTI) that specifically focuses on destinations from the Arab World. This updated Arab compilation is one segment of the larger Medical Tourism Index, which covers 46 unique destinations across five continents. Twelve of the overall 46 destinations are counted in the Arab Medical Tourism Index, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Egypt, Morocco, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Tunisia, Qatar, Lebanon, and Kuwait.

Dubai, which was also recognized as the top Arab destination in 2016, has retained its position as the top destination in the Arab world, and this year in the Middle East, according to the index. “We are not surprised to see both Dubai and Abu Dhabi rise in the 2020-2021 Global Medical Tourism Index and to be at the top of the Arab Index, ranked #1 and #2, respectively. Both Emirates have strong, committed leadership through Dubai Health Authority and the Department of Health Abu Dhabi, and are supported by the government of the United Arab Emirates in its medical tourism initiatives. Both Emirates are driven to become global leaders in healthcare with sustainable growth strategies in the medical tourism and wellness travel industries,” says Renée-Marie Stephano, one of the developers of the Index, and CEO of Global Healthcare Resources.

Dubai also rose 10 slots to #6 in the global ranking and Abu Dhabi rose 16 points to #9 of 46 destinations ranked in the 2020-2021 Global Medical Tourism Index. “The return on investment is obvious in the rankings when the government and private sector come together with a singular focus to transform the perception of a destination for medical tourism through accountability, commitment to quality and accreditation, and dedicated marketing and business development initiatives,” added Stephano. The Arab Medical Tourism Index also includes information and analysis on Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia. Destinations are judged on comprehensive criteria that spans multiple dimensions and over 40 criteria for industry success, including Patient Experience, Medical Tourism Industry, Cost, Safety, and more.

MENA is a critically important area to study for a variety of reasons. Historically, many of the economies in the region have relied on petroleum development and the energy sector, but modern conservation movements have made clear the need for economic diversity in many of these countries. Arab destinations – particularly those in the GCC – have diverted revenue streams and sought to build up healthcare and tourism infrastructure, in a bid to capitalize on the USD 100 billion medical tourism industry. Medical Tourism has resulted in significant investment in and the development of healthcare cities and centers of excellence as destinations compete to global leaders in healthcare delivery.

The Arab Index highlights the many strengths of the region, including easy-access medical visas, integrated hospitality offerings, unique sightseeing opportunities, state-of-the-art facilities, and exploding private capital sectors.

“The COVID-19 novel coronavirus has put both inbound and outbound Arab medical tourism on hold temporarily. Each nation has developed its own approach containing the virus and reopening. The future rankings and index in the Arab nations may look significantly different in the future depending on how well each nation addresses COVID-19 and recovers economically, inevitably, medical travel will rely upon public private partnerships and solid collaboration now more than ever before,” adds Stephano.

Currently, billions of dollars are spent every year on medical travel into and out of the GCC and MENA. As patient mobility returns, new patterns of referral will create new opportunities and challenges related to trust and safety, requiring the entire medical tourism sector to come together. Some organizations, like Global Healthcare Accreditation, are already taking the lead to frame consumer confidence in healthcare destinations through its COVID-19 Guidelines and Certification of Conformance for Medical Travel. Accreditation programs for medical travel likely will have a positive result on destination rankings which delineate safety and trust among the most important criteria in selecting a medical tourism destination.

The Medical Tourism Index is available for purchase at a temporarily discounted price at and the Arab Index is available as an add-on at checkout.

International Healthcare Research Center

The International Healthcare Research Center is a 501c (3) non-profit research organization, dedicated to conducting research and delivering reliable information and actionable strategic insight in the following areas:

International patient experiences & outcomes
Trends & analysis of international patient care
Global health insurance
Employer-based healthcare trends
Population health management
Patient demographics
Hospital quality
Government healthcare policy
Corporate wellness
Wellness trends
Medical tourism research
The primary goal of the International Healthcare Research Center (IHRC) is to promote transparency and improve global healthcare quality, population health management, expanded access to care, and the consumer healthcare experience.

Global Healthcare Resources

Global Healthcare Resources is an international solutions firm providing strategic execution within the industries of employer healthcare, medical tourism, wellness tourism, self-insurance, and corporate wellness. Global Healthcare Resources meets hundreds of thousands of professionals with thought leadership through more than a decade of its associations, trade events, certifications, publications, cited research, and collaborated content.

Reaching over 2.6 million professionals, GHR is a custom-tailored consulting firm with the ability to augment the strategy and growth of any business in the field. Global Healthcare Resources is an industry research partner of IHRC.

Previous articleAbu Dhabi Real Estate Market Sees Declines in Q2
Next articleAir Arabia Abu Dhabi Launches Service to Kabul and Dhaka