UAE Healthcare Property Market to extend growth as focus on sector sharpens ahead of Expo

  • Between 2010-2018, total number of private hospitals increased from 19 to 25, registering a CAGR of 3%
  • As of 2017, Dubai had one of the highest physician-to-population ratios in the world
  • Government initiatives such as the Dubai Health Experience to help attract 500,000 medical tourists by 2021

Cavendish Maxwell, a leading property consultancy and chartered surveying firm in the Middle East, released its first-ever Dubai Healthcare Property Market Update for 2019-2020. The report explores key themes including the availability of healthcare professionals, hospital bed and patient capacity, medical tourism, upcoming projects as well as Dubai’s competitiveness in an international context.

Commenting on the report, Aditi Hariharan, Associate Partner, Strategic Consulting and Research at Cavendish Maxwell, said:

“Being recognised as a hub for quality healthcare services for residents and medical tourists alike is high on the UAE government’s agenda. Anticipating the health and wellness needs of people during Expo 2020 and beyond, health authorities in Dubai are rapidly advancing on plans to improve hospitals, health centres and clinics, resulting in a positive outlook for operators, healthcare professionals and the sector overall.” 

Key sector insights

A total of 26.2% of Dubai’s population is aged 40 and over. In the emirate, where there is a high incidence of lifestyle related diseases such as diabetes, coronary problems and other obesity-related ailments, 70-80% of healthcare problems in people occur after age 40, corresponding to an increase in the demand for healthcare services and related facilities.

Between 2010-2018, Dubai’s healthcare industry, particularly the private sector, experienced substantial growth – the total number of private hospitals increased from 19 to 25, registering a CAGR of 3%. In 2017, DHA announced that 12 private hospitals will be opened by 2020 with an expected capacity of 875 beds.

According to DHA data, as of 2017, Dubai had one of the highest physician-to-population ratios in the world. With the expanding population and a rise in the number of hospitals, total physician population in Dubai is projected to reach 11,247 in 2020 from an estimated 9,472 in 2018, implying a CAGR of 9%.

Beginning 2010, the number of nurses in Dubai increased compared to physicians as a result of the UAE’s efforts to address a nursing shortage, caused due to low wages, low status and limited career progression, according to the Nursing and Midwifery Council of the UAE. Future projections state that the number of nurses is expected to rise to 23,617 in 2020 at a CAGR of 10%.

Dubai attracted 337,011 international health tourists in 2018, of which 46% visited for dental treatments, followed by orthopedics (18%) and dermatology (10%). With government initiatives such as the Dubai Health Experience, Dubai aims to attract 500,000 medical tourists by 2021.

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