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Burjeel Holdings plans to triple its medical tourism

hospital, healthcare Burjeel Holdings
Burjeel Holdings sees market growth in premium medical tourism in the UAE
  • Medical tourism currently 10% of healthcare provider’s revenue
  • Company has 16 hospitals and 23 medical centres
  • Burjeel also expanding in Saudi Arabia with fitness centres deal

Burjeel Holdings has revealed plans to triple its medical tourism business by the end of the decade.

The UAE-based private healthcare services provider has a network of 61 assets, including 16 hospitals and 23 medical centres, as well as pharmacies and other services.

CEO John Sunil, who has been with the company for 12 years, told AGBI that medical tourism currently makes up around 10 percent of the company’s revenues.

“We’re looking at strong growth for medical tourism – at least 30 percent of our revenues coming from it by 2030,” he added.

Analysis by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in mid-2019 expected medical tourism income in the UAE to reach AED19.5 billion ($5.3 billion) by 2023.

The country ranked first among GCC countries in a list of the best global medical tourism destinations, according to a 2021 report by the Medical Tourism Association in the US.

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John Sunil, CEO of Burjeel Holdings, says people are willing to pay more for the UAE’s quality of service

The ranking in the index was based on a variety of factors, including the destination environment, patient experience, current levels of medical tourism and the attractiveness of traditional tourism.

Sunil said: “India and Turkey are price sensitive, but there is a niche market we can target because of the infrastructure and the quality of care we provide in the UAE.

“There will be a premium which we charge. Our prices cannot be compared to any other place, but there are people who are willing to pay that additional premium to come to the UAE and have this quality of service.”

Burjeel Holdings listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in October last year, which saw AED2.2 billion of liquidity injected into the business.

Financial results for 2022 revealed a net profit of AED355 million, up 52 percent from the previous year, while the company reported that group revenue for 2023 is expected to grow organically in the “high-teens”.

Expanding into Saudi Arabia

In February Burjeel signed a memorandum of understanding with Leejam Sports Company, an operator of fitness centres in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to jointly establish and manage a network of more than 60 medical centres in Leejam clubs across the kingdom.

Plans include opening six in the current quarter in Riyadh, before expanding services across the Leejam network in the kingdom over the next 12-18 months.

It follows an announcement last year that Burjeel is to invest up to $1 billion in Saudi Arabia by 2030 as part of a deal signed with the Ministry of Investment.

Sunil added that Burjeel was also looking at markets in Africa, especially Egypt.

Burjeel plans Saudi expansion following a deal with Leejam Sports Company, operator of fitness centres in Saudi Arabia and the UAE

Healthcare spending in the region is set to reach $135.5 billion in 2027, implying an annual growth rate of 5.4 percent from $104.1 billion last year, according to Dubai-based investment banking advisory firm Alpen Capital.

Last week Burjeel Holdings announced that it has partnered with OncoHelix to establish a laboratory in Abu Dhabi to provide advanced molecular genetics, cellular and immunological profile testing to patients in the UAE.