The UAE received the top spot, among the Arab Gulf states, in the list of the best destinations for medical tourism globally, according to the US-based Medical Tourism Association index. As per the survey, Oman came in at second, Bahrain at third, along with Saudi Arabia ranked fourth and Kuwait at the sixth spot in the list.
The Association has affirmed that ranking in the index has been evaluated taking various factors into account such as the destination environment, the attractiveness of traditional tourism, patient experience, and current levels of medical tourism.
Various studies that have been conducted in this regard have shown that the value of the medical tourism market is expected to grow rapidly to US$28 billion by the end of 2024 from about US$15.5 billion in 2017, at a compound annual growth rate of about 8.8 per cent between 2018 and 2024.
As per reports, the volume of medical tourism spending out of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to various countries globally is estimated to be at 20 billion dollars. In addition, the International Medical Travel Journal has stated that over US$2bn is spent every year on global medical tourism for foreign treatment for GCC citizens.