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Health and wellness news from the Middle East. All the important stories, plus authoritative opinion and analysis.

Some 60% percent of doctors working in Saudi Arabia are expats

Saudi ‘needs to recruit 175,000 medics by 2030’

Saudi Arabia needs to recruit an additional 175,000 medical professionals to care for its growing population by 2030, research has found. The kingdom requires an extra 69,000 doctors, 64,000 nurses and 42,000 allied health professionals such as paramedics and osteopaths, according to a report published on May 30 by consultancy Colliers Middle East. Mansoor Ahmed, […]

Jamjoom Pharmaceuticals IPO Saudi Arabia

Pharma IPO set to be Saudi’s largest listing this year

Saudi’s Jamjoom Pharmaceuticals looks set to raise SAR1.26 billion ($336 million) when it lists later this year, putting it on course to become the kingdom’s biggest IPO in 2023.   The manufacturer’s final offer price has been set at SAR60 per share. It was at the top of a range that started at SAR56, implying a […]

Saudi smoking PIF

PIF-owned company aims to stub out smoking in Saudi

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has launched a company that aims to cut smoking in the kingdom by a quarter by 2032. Badael will develop, manufacture and distribute tobacco-free alternatives which will help an estimated one million people make the switch from smoking, according to a statement. The initiative has the potential to save […]

Covid-19 appointment in Kabul

Gulf insurers paid out only $80m in Covid death claims

Gulf insurance firms paid out only around $80 million in Covid-19 death-related claims over the last three years, according to AGBI calculations based on industry data. The low amount in the Gulf reflects the low uptake of life insurance policies in the region, where the average life insurance penetration is only 0.1 per cent compared […]

The Dubai Health Authority is making strides to give tourists better and quicker medical access

Healthcare tourism gives Dubai a shot in the arm

Medical tourism brought nearly AED1 billion ($272 million) to Dubai last year, up by more than a quarter, as the emirate aims to build its reputation as a destination for international patients.  Dubai welcomed 674,000 medical tourists in 2022, up from 630,000 the previous year, with 39 percent arriving from Asian countries, 22 percent from […]

Israeli firm makes ready-to-cook 3D printed fish fillets

Forget your hook, line and sinker. An Israeli foodtech company says it has 3D printed the first ever ready-to-cook fish fillet using animal cells cultivated and grown in a laboratory. Lab-grown beef and chicken have drawn attention as a way to sidestep the environmental toll of farming and tackle concerns over animal welfare, but few […]

hospital, healthcare

Burjeel Holdings plans to triple its medical tourism

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, […]

M42 CEO Hasan Jasem Al Nowais

M42 buys European dialysis group Diaverum

Abu Dhabi’s newest tech-enabled healthcare company, M42, has made its first investment with the acquisition of Diaverum, a global renal care service provider. The value of the deal for Bridgepoint Group’s European dialysis clinic chain was not disclosed, although previous reports by Bloomberg suggest it could be in the region of $2.5 billion. M42 launched […]

GCC healthcare

More GCC healthcare mergers likely as competition hots up

The GCC healthcare market is set to witness more mergers, acquisitions and consolidation as competition increases, say experts. As the sector continues to mature, public-private partnerships (PPPs) are bringing about a shift in care delivery that is likely to be transformative, according to Dubai-based investment banking advisory firm Alpen Capital. Its research predicts that healthcare […]

Fitness chains get financially fit as more Americans hit the gym

Tighter budgets may not be a constraint for Americans looking to get back into shape, keeping gym operators financially fit, even as inflation pinches other consumer-focused sectors. Some of the major players in the fitness sector have pushed the envelope on membership rates after the pandemic scare, helping them beef up earnings, when most other […]

Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence will be home to the region's first biocomputing innovation lab
  • Analysis

A new age as Abu Dhabi accelerates its longevity push

Abu Dhabi has grand plans to dominate the multi-billion-dollar longevity sector in the Gulf with the opening of two new facilities. The longevity industry is focused on the science of ageing and its related illnesses. The market is predicted to grow to as much as $32 billion in the UAE by 2026. And the region’s […]

doctor, stethoscope, phone

Mandatory health coverage boosts Middle East insurance sector

Mandatory health insurance requirements swelled Gulf insurers’ income last year, although growth will slow in 2023 and profitability remains a challenge despite the coverage boom. Those are some of the findings in a report by S&P Global Ratings which predicts easing inflationary and supply chain pressures should lower costs arising from property, motor and casualty […]

Aster DM Healthcare shortlists two bidders for stake in Gulf business

Dubai-based Aster DM Healthcare is looking to sell a majority stake in its Gulf-based business and has short-listed buyers for the sale, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Aster, which operates hospitals, clinics and pharmacies in the Gulf and India, is looking to sell a stake of more than 50 percent […]

Medical tourism looking sickly as patients watch their spending

Attila Knott has an empty dental hospital in Hungary. The foreigners with bad teeth he was counting on never arrived, deterred first by Covid-19 and now by a cost-of-living crisis that has left the medical tourism industry struggling to recover even after the lifting of pandemic travel restrictions. “People are more cautious,” Knott told Reuters, […]

Ireland aims to export more medtech products and services to the UAE. Over 20 companies participated in last month’s Arab Health 2023 in Dubai

Ireland’s Middle East exports grow with ‘new’ economy

The Republic of Ireland is targeting the UAE and the wider Middle East as a “major growth market”, with innovation at the heart of the economic relationship. Opportunities for closer collaboration between Irish and UAE firms have been identified in the “new” economy including AI, space, fintech and entrepreneurship. Healthcare, and medtech in particular, is […]

Egyptian healthcare startup raises $16m in latest funding round

Egypt’s digital healthcare startup Yodawy has raised $16 million in the first close of its Series B round, the company said in a statement.  The round was co-led by Delivery Hero Ventures, the venture capital arm of food delivery platform Delivery Hero, and UAE-based Global Ventures.  Japan’s AAIC Investment and Saudi-based Dallah Albaraka also participated […]

Burjeel and Leejam joint venture to open over 60 clinics in Saudi

Abu Dhabi-listed Burjeel Holdings has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a joint venture with Leejam Sports Company, the owner and operator of fitness centres in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.  The equally-owned venture will be operated through a newly formed company established under Saudi regulations, Burjeel said in a statement. The two […]

Drink Dry

Forget ‘Dry January’ – more Gulf drinkers ditching booze all year

Dry January, the initiative of abstaining from alcohol for the first month of the year, has become a yearly fixture in many people’s lives since it was launched by Alcohol Change UK in 2013, and the Middle East is no exception.  “We definitely see sales increase in the UAE,” Erika Doyle, founder and managing director […]

Akram Bouchenaki, CEO of Abdul Latif Jameel Health

Healthtech provider targets early cancer detection across Mena

Abdul Latif Jameel Health is planning to expand throughout the Middle East and Africa, its CEO Akram Bouchenaki has told AGBI. The multinational company – the healthcare business of Saudi family conglomerate Abdul Latif Jameel – is looking at new locations and tech innovations as part of its ambition to accelerate the region’s access to […]

Qatar among countries imposing Covid tests for Chinese travellers

Authorities around the world are imposing or considering curbs on travellers from China as coronavirus cases in the country surge following its relaxation of “zero-Covid” rules. International health experts predict at least one million deaths in China this year. However, China has played down concerns, saying decisions by some countries to impose a requirement for […]

Innovations in healthtech allow doctors to perform surgery virtually, using a headset
  • Analysis

Gulf healthtech investment is just what the doctor ordered

Technological innovation and broader changes in society are shifting the balance of power in healthcare across the Middle East region, increasing investment from entrepreneurs looking to capitalise on the sector’s digital revolution. “The same wave of personalisation and consumerisation that ushered in analytics-based recommendation engines for entertainment has programmed people to want healthcare that is […]

Jason L Signor, CEO of Big Sky

Bahrain’s GFH takes on US healthcare with Big Sky deal

Bahrain’s GFH Financial Group announced on Tuesday it has completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Big Sky Asset Management, a US real estate asset manager focused on the healthcare sector. The transaction further expands GFH’s presence in the States and follows the partnership in May with SQ Asset Management, a specialist in student […]