Dubai’s health sector is ready to welcome overseas travellers as travel to the emirate gets back on track, according to The Dubai Health Authority (DHA).

The reopening of airports, aggressive testing and sanitisation and resumption of elective surgeries and other healthcare services are “clear indicators of Dubai’s readiness to restart health tourism”, the authority said in a webinar themed ‘Dubai Leads the Great Comeback: DXH welcomes the world to exceptional health experiences’, which was staged on Wednesday (July 22).

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dubai projected the medical tourism sector would contribute around 500,000 visitors to the emirate by 2021.

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

The Dubai Government’s efforts to “strongly implement” precautionary measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in coordination with national health authorities, as well as its high-level engagement to help patients recover, had put the emirate’s advanced healthcare sector in the spotlight and would bolster traveller confidence, said Dr. Marwan Al Mulla, CEO – Health Regulation Sector, Dubai Health Authority.

Furthermore, the UAE was ranked one of the safest nations during the pandemic – named number one in the Arab region and one of the world’s top 10 in managing COVID-19, he noted.

Dubai’s ambition is to become the preferred global health tourism destination and a hub for top-accredited healthcare facilities.

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