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

In 2023 the Turkish government provided $22m in financial support to companies operating in the health services export sector

Turkey’s health tourism sector worth $2bn in 2023

Turkey’s health tourism sector generated revenue of $2.3 billion in 2023, data released by the Ministry of Trade reveals. Health service exports surged from $1.9 billion in 2022 to $2.3 billion in 2023, driven by an influx of 1.4 million health tourists, placing Turkey seventh in the global health tourism rankings. The country has 40 […]

Dr Azad Moopen, the founder chairman of Aster, retains 35 percent ownership alongside management and operational control

Aster DM completes GCC and India business split

Hospital chain Aster DM Healthcare has concluded the separation of its GCC and India businesses into two standalone entities.  As part of the separation plan, a consortium of investors led by Fajr Capital, a UAE sovereign-backed private equity firm, acquired a 65 percent stake in Aster GCC. Dr Azad Moopen, the founder chairman of Aster, […]

The UAE and Saudi Arabia in particular are investing heavily in life sciences and longevity

Abu Dhabi puts together global life sciences contender

A new company to help establish Abu Dhabi as a major global player in life sciences has been announced by the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund ADQ. The new concern, called Arcera, will act as an umbrella entity for ADQ’s shareholdings in the Swiss pharmaceutical company Acino, Birgi Mefar Group of Turkey and Egypt’s Amoun. Arcera […]

The acquisition of Kelix bio is set to boost the UAE’s global standing in life sciences, said Mubadala

Mubadala to buy pharma company Kelix Bio

Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Kelix Bio, a specialty pharmaceutical business in the UAE that focuses on delivering complex generics across emerging markets. The Kelix Bio acquisition is set to boost the UAE’s global standing in life sciences, state-own Abu Dhabi Media Office reported, quoting a Mubadala statement. […]

Aster expects the sale of its GCC business to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2024

Aster DM says India, GCC business split nears closure

Hospital chain Aster DM Healthcare has confirmed that the separation of its GCC and Indian businesses and the proposed investment in the former by a Dubai private equity firm are nearing completion.  The company agreed to sell a 65 percent stake in its Gulf business to a state-backed Fajr Capital-led consortium for $1 billion in November […]

An NMC hospital in Abu Dhabi. The business was founded in the 1970s and went into administration in 2020

NMC and Dubai Islamic Bank end legal dispute

NMC Healthcare has reached an out-of-court settlement with Dubai Islamic Bank, ending the long-running legal dispute between the two businesses. The healthcare operator had borrowed around $400 million from DIB, which is the largest Islamic bank in the UAE. The loan used collateral known as insurance receivables, which are payments by insurance companies for medical […]

metabolic disease oura smart ring

‘Smart ring’ project aims to help fight chronic health problems

A wearable “health ring” is being used by a Dubai-based healthcare technology startup to help combat the Middle East region’s metabolic diseases crisis. The company, Metabolic – which brands itself as meta[bolic] – has signed a partnership with the Finnish maker of the Oura Ring, and aims to stem the billions lost in healthcare systems […]

A spa room in Clinique La Prairie's latest Longevity Hub in Dubai, it's fifth in the emirate Video length: 03:32

The Dubai spa charging AED90,000 to increase ‘healthspan’

Clinique La Prairie opened its fifth Longevity Hub-branded spa in Dubai last month and is preparing to open a $300 million health resort in Saudi Arabia’s Amaala giga-project next year.  The “medical spa” receives 60,000 clients each year from the Middle East to its luxury facility in Montreux, Switzerland for longevity and preventative medicine treatments. […]

The 450 companies operating at Dubai Science Park include AstraZeneca, and the free zone plans to add 200,000 sq ft of lab and office space

Dubai Science Park reveals expansion plans

Dubai’s biotechnology free zone is adding 60 percent more offices, laboratories and warehouses over the next few years to cater for an influx of new companies, its senior vice-president told AGBI.  Dubai Science Park, part of Dubai-listed Tecom Group, is planning an expansion of 200,000 sq ft of additional storage and logistics facilities at the […]

Tourists at Giza, Egypt. The government is targeting annual revenue of $11.5bn in medical tourism revenues alone

Wellness resort leads Egypt’s medical tourism push

Plans for Egypt’s first wellness resort have been revealed as experts forecast an increase in the number of medical visitors to the country. Maxim Group has signed an agreement with the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones to establish Naya Wellness Resort in Al-Saf, Giza. About $48 million is being invested in the resort, part […]

Unable to afford costly medicines, these Iraqi women buy traditional herbal remedies at a shop in Baghdad

Saudi deal ‘unlikely to cure Iraq’s pharma problems’

Iraq has turned to Saudi Arabia to help it improve its healthcare industry and increase pharmaceutical manufacturing. The ministries of health for both countries are collaborating to boost private healthcare in Iraq and foster partnerships to speed up the establishment of local pharmaceutical factories. However analysts say the impact of the partnership will be limited […]

Mubadala buys stake in Indian hospital chain 

The Abu Dhabi sovereign investor Mubadala Investment Company has invested in Manipal Health Enterprises (Manipal), India’s second-largest hospital chain by number of beds. “Given the ever-increasing demand for high-quality hospital care across India, we look forward to supporting Manipal’s growth journey in the years ahead,” said Camilla Macapili Languille, head of life sciences at Mubadala, according to the […]

Healthcare providers are struggling in a crowded market and facing rising costs a concerned doctor looks at a chart hospitals Dubai hospitals

Dubai hospitals are ailing in saturated healthcare market 

The general healthcare sector in Dubai is buckling under saturation, with weaker operators shutting down or battling financial woes, Dr Azad Moopen, the founder and chairman of Aster DM Healthcare, told AGBI. The healthcare sector in the emirate faces a challenging economic climate, marked by stubborn inflation, high interest rates and slow growth. The introduction […]

Quantum dot technology could be transformative for drones, robots and autonomous vehicles

Saudi startup’s infrared tech has ‘game-changing’ potential

A Saudi Arabian startup’s pioneering research will slash the cost of infrared sensors, enabling them to be used in a myriad of day-to-day applications and accelerating the development of fully autonomous vehicles, its founder told AGBI. Osman Bakr, founder and chairman of Quantum Solutions, is also head of the functional nanomaterials laboratory at Kaust (King […]

Adult, Female, Person Personalised precision medicine has the potential to transform treatment of chronic and genetic diseases scientist personalised healthcare lab science

Gulf embraces a personalised approach to healthcare

The Gulf is shifting towards a more personalised approach to healthcare, but the growth of the sector faces challenges in terms of talent and data management according to experts.  Traditional medicine tends to address only the initial health issues without tailoring solutions to the unique requirements of each patient, says Vadim Fedotov, CEO of Bioniq, […]

The Saudi fitness sector has growth potential as currently gym members make up only 3.7 percent of the population

Fitness brands shape up for Saudi expansion plans

GymNation, founded in Dubai, has revealed plans to open 50 new fitness centres in Saudi Arabia as it seeks to capitalise on the kingdom’s billion-dollar fitness industry. The mid-market brand was set up six years ago and currently operates 11 gyms in the emirate, with a further six set to open before the summer. Founder […]

The UAE's density of healthcare staff is higher than the rest of the GCC but still below global benchmarks

Training and tech to tackle healthcare staff shortage

Technology and training combined can aid the impending recruitment crisis in UAE healthcare, experts say. Globally there will be an estimated shortfall of 10 million workers in the industry by 2030, primarily in low and middle income countries, according to the World Economic Forum. The UAE has not been spared. Research from Colliers showed there […]

A doctor consults medical records. Aster employs 1,651 doctors and 3,679 nurses

Dubai mulling ratings for hospital performance, says Aster founder

Dubai is considering the introduction of performance ratings for healthcare providers, Dr Azad Moopen, the founder and chairman of Aster DM Healthcare, has told AGBI. The system would allow operators to adjust their insurance tariffs – the prices that insurers agree to pay for medical services or procedures – based on their classification, providing an […]

Drone delivery could help provide healthcare to more remote regions of the Gulf, backers of a pilot programme hope

Gulf could have drone healthcare delivery by 2026

Drone delivery technology transporting healthcare materials such as blood samples, vaccines and pharmaceuticals is likely to take to the skies across the Gulf within the next two years. A test programme between Siemens Healthineers and the German drone manufacturer Wingcopter in Kenya is due to come to a conclusion in the next two and a […]