Middle East’s Medical Tourism and Travel Industry

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arab health conference 2019

With over 39 confirmed country pavilions, Arab Health Conference 2019 provided an important platform for the Middle East’s healthcare industry to build relationships with international stakeholders and facilitate the exploration of new business opportunities in the global healthcare field. Jamil Juma, Regional Manager and Berna Okten Chairman of the Board of Marm Assistance where there on site, networking and checking the latest updates in the industry. Okten believes the opening of the first office in the Middle East nearly four years ago not only showcases the region’s thriving assistance industry but also highlights the company’s ongoing expansion and growing customer base in the region.

Tapping into the assistance and travel markets in the Middle East with a local office was prompted by our valued business relationships in the region and the growing demand for our solutions, she said. “Our business may be remote support, but our mission is to add value to our customers. The addition of a physical office, especially in a region where support is absolutely essential, along with a local team, allows us to focus more on our customers’ needs and build closer relationships with local partners.” Moreover, in response to the increased assistance necessities and travel volume in the MENA territory, we directed our strategic plan expanding into UAE, Dubai.

Dubai is well established as one of the top destinations in the region for the medical tourism and travel industry and ranks second in the world for the cities with the most five-star hotels. And with the upcoming World Expo 2020 taking place in the emirate, the city is poised for incredible growth in the tourism and hospitality sectors, offering more opportunities to attract all kinds of travellers who will require assistance for both travel and medical. Recent reports suggest that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) health sector will grow by 60% between 2016 and 2021, which will increase and be worth over AED 103 billion by 2021. Furthermore, the UAE is the world’s fastest growing medical tourism hub. The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) in 2017 reported medical tourism in Dubai generated more than AED 1.4 billion in 2016, as well as receiving 326,649 medical tourists (the report for 2018 will be released in August 2019).

Additionally, over the past decade, the Middle East has developed into a global hub for tourism and leisure. Visitors are attracted to the region’s retail offerings, hotels, beaches, and unique experiences such as a trip to the top of Burj Khalifa, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in the UAE, Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar and the old-fashioned souks in Oman. However, the winds of change will require further transformation within the travel, medical and tourism industries in the region.

That is why we believe a local presence is essential. “ As a market-leading solutions provider, we are proud to help facilitate the continued growth of the assistance industry and support its positive economic impact. We’re excited to expand our regional presence and continue to deliver world-class assistance solutions to elevate customer satisfaction across the region,” said Okten.


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