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Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) launched Phase 2 in 2015. In what ways this is going to fulfill Dubai’s ambition to be a global medical tourism hub?
Dubai government’s plans to develop medical tourism to diversify the economy and move away from oil dependency is creating investment opportunities in the emirate’s healthcare sector. DHCC, with its position as the world’s largest healthcare free zone, is contributing to the government’s plan which will expand the emirate’s health industry and transform it into a global medical hub.
Phase 2 will build on the success of Phase 1 – dedicated to healthcare and medical education – in creating a sustainable healthcare and wellness ecosystem. The wellness concept is a growing branch of medical tourism as people increasingly combine holidays with holistic/wellbeing requirements. We are working towards driving the trend of preventative care through our Phase 2 expansion. Phase 2 will be home to the world’s largest wellness concept, the WorldCare Wellness Village, occupying 810,000 square feet of built up area.
Strategically located on the water front, it will have a wide variety of unique offerings and will be anchored by a 100,000 square feet Wellness Center that will focus on prevention and management of diseases such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes and other physical conditions. In DHCC, we understand that introducing a variety of complimentary services, amenities and attractions including hotels and restaurants is paramount for the success of any medical tourism destination, therefore we have allocated about 25 percent to the hospitality sector with about 10 percent for hotels in Phase 2.
What participation do you expect from international and regional healthcare organizations/hospitals in Phase 2?
As the Dubai government strengthens its health sector and its medical tourism position, investment opportunities in the emirate’s healthcare sector are increasing and many regional and international healthcare investors are tapping into this growing demand. In 2016 we have included reputed regional and international renowned names to our strong healthcare and wellness portfolio, with recent announcements in Phase 2.
Along with the WorldCare Wellness Village, we also announced the first general hospital in Phase 2, the Clemenceau Medical Center, a 110-bed hospital that is part of the Clemenceau Medicine Network of hospitals, including the Clemenceau Medical Center in Beirut, Lebanon, which is affiliated with John Hopkins Medicine International.
The free zone contributes to making Dubai one of the world’s most business-friendly cities and a preferred healthcare investment destination by creating an attractive investment environment that is not only tailored for the healthcare and wellness industry but also for other industries such as hospitality and retail. Our free zone set-up supports 100% ownership structure, encouraging providers to choose from the investment product portfolio of clinical, commercial, retail, business center and free-hold land. DHCC provides the necessary framework from licensing flexibility, logistical support to state-of-the-art infrastructure and a robust regulatory framework which together strengthen the healthcare sector in Dubai.
In what ways the compulsory health insurance deadline of June 30, 2016 by DHA for employees’ dependents is going to impact the overall UAE healthcare sector?
Higher insurance penetration rate due to the mandatory insurance scheme is expected to create a demand for healthcare services and hence we will witness an expansion of the healthcare industry in the emirate in general and the free zone specifically.
Bader Hareb is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dubai Healthcare City Authority – Investment Sector (DHCI). As CEO, he strengthens the Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) free zone’s position as an internationally-recognized health and wellness destination. Leading its investment and Shared Services, Hareb is responsible for sustainable growth by driving development in DHCC Phase 1 and Phase 2, and strengthening its value in medical tourism. He oversees planning of Phase 2, occupying 22 million square feet, and the current operational Phase 1, dedicated to healthcare and medical education, occupying 4.1 million square feet.
Prior to his appointment in December 2015, Hareb held senior positions in reputable organizations within the real estate and telecommunications industries. In his previous role as Chief Property Officer at Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Properties, he spearheaded large-scale investment projects in the MENA region and concurrently served as Vice-Chairman at Sharjah Holding and The Wave, Muscat; and as board member at Inshaa, Dubai.
Earlier, Hareb served as Managing Director at Nakheel where he strategized and managed several projects and was instrumental as a member of the team that steered the real estate developer through a period of significant financial challenge, restructuring debts and improving financials. At the beginning of his career, he handled projects at Mobily in Saudi Arabia and Etisalat – Dubai.
A native of Dubai, Hareb earned his Executive Master of Business Administration from the American University of Sharjah and a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from United Arab Emirates University. He is a graduate of Dubai Leadership Program through The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.