US$ 778 million worth of business generated at Arab Health

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  • Healthcare spend in the GCC expected to reach US$ 104.6 billion by 2022
  • Growing private sector participation expected to boost long-term growth of regional healthcare industry
  • More than 4,150 exhibitors from over 66 countries and 84,500 visitors expected to attend Arab Health 2019 taking place from 28 – 31 January in Dubai, UAE

Arab Health, the largest exhibition for healthcare and trade professionals in the MENA region, has announced that more than US$ 778 million worth of business was generated by exhibitors during the 2018 edition of the show.

This figure is in line with Alpen Capital’s projections that GCC healthcare spend will reach US$104.6 billion in 2022 from an estimated US$76.1 billion in 2017 with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.6%.

With an anticipted need for an additional 13,000 hospital beds and the employment of 10,000 new physicians to the region, the demand is being mitigated by the 700 healthcare projects worth US$ 60.9 billion under various stages of development as well government initiatives such as the recently launched Dubai Health Investment Guide 2018-25 designed to increase private sector participation.

Commenting, Ross Williams, Exhibition Director of Arab Health, said: “Some of the key factors stimulating the growth of the healthcare market in the region include the ageing population, increasing frequency of non-communicable disease, high cost of treatment and manadatory health insurance.”

“The trade generated during the last edition of Arab Health is a strong indication that the private sector is also playing an important part in the development of the healthcare industry and we anticipate that these figures will continue to grow in subsequent years,” added Williams.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) global healthcare database last year highlighted that the Emerging Europe/MENA healthcare market is expected to grow by 5% per annum. Healthcare UK, which is among the exhibitors at Arab Health, estimates potential contract wins for the UK of AED5 billion for this region, further underscoring the importance of Arab Health. Last year, UK companies generated a high level of commercial interest during the show with British healthcare technology company Babylon announcing an agreement with THIQAH to provide Artificial Intelligence health services to Saudi Arabia, in association with the Saudi Ministry of Health.

Other marquee deals signed during the event included a health IT strategic partnership between Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital and the Children’s National Health, while Fakeeh Care signed an agreement with Emitac Healthcare Solutions to provide advanced turnkey healthcare solutions to its Fakeeh University Hospital project being developed at Dubai Silicon Oasis.

Now in its 44th year, the Arab Health Exhibition and Congress experienced year-on-year (YoY) growth of 3% in exhibitor numbers between 2017 and 2018. Dealers & Distributors accounted for 37% of total attendees in 2018 with the UAE, Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan and Iran making up the top five countries looking to source new healthcare products and services.

Meanwhile, an anticipated 4,250 exhibitors (2% growth YoY) from more than 66 countries and 84,500 visitors are expected to attend the 2019 edition of the show which takes place from 28 – 31 January at the Dubai World Trade Centre. With 39 dedicated country pavilions, international representation at the show remains robust with many pavilions increasing in size and number of exhibiting companies YoY.

Having participated at Arab Health since 2006, the Polish country pavilion has seen its national participation grow from 39 exhibitors in 2018 to 50 exhibitors in 2019 signifying the growing interest in the UAE as a key market for the healthcare industry. Polish Investment and Trade Agency has recently noted very high amount of inquiries coming from Polish companies in the medical sector regarding the UAE market. According to data taken from The First Trade & Invest Forum which took place in October 2018 in Warsaw, three times more companies ask about the possibility of exporting goods to the UAE than to the USA. The interest in the UAE market among Polish companies is almost equal to the interest in European countries which are natural trade partners for Poland.

“The UAE has for over a decade been Poland’s largest and most significant economic and trade partner in the Arab world. The bilateral trade exchange reaches around US$ 1 billion a year and the Polish government is planning to stimulate the involvement of Polish companies in the Emirates. The Polish Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology has decided to organise a large national stand presenting the Polish medical devices and equipment industry at the 2019 edition of the event as the international character of Arab Health makes it an excellent platform for promoting Polish products on the markets of Middle East and globally,” said Robert Zawadzki, Deputy Director, Department of Economic Promotion, Polish Investment and Trade Agency S.A.

Innovation is driving the healthcare industry forward and advances in technologies are creating vast new possibilities and opportunities for the UAE healthcare sector. In line with this, Arab Health 2019 will introduce a dedicated Innovation Hub to highlight some of these technological advances and innovations.

Industry sentiment from key global manufacturers also reflects this trend and their focus for the upcoming edition of Arab Health is to showcase innovation in both the fields of technology and business models, but also in terms of increasing efficiency in the patient flow.

Organised by Informa Exhibitions, Arab Health 2019 will also welcome 4,500 delegates from across the region to benefit from 11 business and Continuing Medical Education (CME) conferences at the Arab Health Congress across disciplines such as radiology, surgery, gastroenterology, diabetes, obs-gyne, paediatrics, to name a few.

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