The Arab Health Exhibition & Congress, Dubai, UAE, was once again the focus for the world’s healthcare sector in January. Now in its 35th year, the show achieved an estimated 20 per cent increase in visitor numbers. Highlighting the increasingly important role played by the Middle East healthcare industry, healthcare authorities, medical device manufacturers, medical supply distributors and healthcare professionals from across the region and the globe convened in Dubai for Arab Health 2010. Held at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre from 25 – 28 January, the organiser, IIR Middle East, was delighted with the success of the 2010 show.
Demand for healthcare is growing driven by aging populations and life-style related diseases such as diabetes, particularly in the UAE and Gulf Region. Governments are being forced to tackle this issue head on which ultimately means a lot more investment in the healthcare infrastructure in these countries. In spite of significant project delays in other non-healthcare industry sectors, the pipeline of healthcare projects in the region remains remarkably robust, particularly for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. This has been reflected in the growth in the exhibitor, visitor and delegate numbers for this year’s Arab Health.
For many visitors, this was their first experience at Arab Health. For others, they return to the event year-on-year to network with distributors and manufacturers from across the globe. Research into the healthcare market in the Middle East indicates positive growth and we can expect further expansion on all levels.
Dubai-based research firm Proleads figures show government investment in healthcare-related projects in Saudi Arabia is currently running at more than US$5 billion, compared with around US$1 billion of private sector investment. Another report by Alpen Capital also forecasts the GCC may need in excess of 25,000 additional beds by 2020 to address growing demand for in-patient treatments. The largest share of demand is accounted for by Saudi Arabia followed by the UAE.
Exhibitors at Arab Health 2010 were in agreement that the healthcare industry in the region was set to grow even further. Pleased with the turnout, many exhibitors and show sponsors were keen to re-book and expand their presence for next year. Many exhibiting companies use Arab Health as a platform to conduct business and conclude successful business deals. Although most of the deals were kept under wraps during the event, Siemens Healthcare was at liberty to announce the biggest single order contract in Middle East, signed during Arab Health 2010.
Siemens Healthcare announced a contract win of US$69 million to supply diagnostic imaging equipment to all Ministry of Health hospitals across Iraq. The recently signed contract will provide the Iraqi Ministry of Health with unrivalled diagnostic imaging equipment, fully serviced over a period of 5 years.
Maurice Faber, Vice President Siemens Healthcare Sector Middle East said, “We are very proud to announce this agreement as it means we are playing an active role in the helping to rebuild healthcare services in Iraq. One major result of this contract will be improved healthcare for all Iraqi people, and advanced breast cancer screening facilities for women in Iraq.”