The World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress (WMTC) is to be held in Abu Dhabi for the very first time.

The 12th such conference is to be held between 15th and 17th October in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

The Medical Tourism Association’s (MTA) annual conference has previously always taken place in the US.

The Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau organised the event in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Department of Health.

The influential conference will play host to representatives from the top industry representatives in hospitals, payers, insurance companies, government ministries and other players from over 90 different nations.

The focus of this year’s event will be Russia and China and GCC countries such as Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

Other countries in the Middle East and North Africa will also be spotlighted.

The Ministerial Summit will take place on day one of the event.

The first day will also feature a day-long workshop event aimed at insiders in the industry, and tours of hospital sites.

The Congress lasts two days and will include a trio of educational sessions as well as a number of keynote speeches.

The WMTC Abu Dhabi and MTA co-founder and chairman Jonathan Edelheit says that medical tourists often spend several weeks on their visits, as do many of their family members.

This means that health travel and medical tourism can have a “big economic impact” on the whole tourism sector, according to Edelheit.

Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) Abu Dhabi undersecretary Saif Saeed Ghobash says that the department is proud to be joining forces with the MTA in order to bring the conference to Abu Dhabi.

Ghobash adds that the move corresponds to the DCT’s strategy of having the emirate become a world-class hub for healthcare.

Ghobash sees the medical tourism sector as being an area with enormous potential for growth, making it one of the DCT’s current main focuses.

The DCT is also hoping to be able to fuel the capital city’s vigorous growth further, in line with the economic diversification plan being pursued by the UAE.

Abu Dhabi already has the kind of infrastructure required to become one of the world’s most attractive destinations for medical tourism, according to Ghobash.

The emirate offers medical facilities and care that are world class, as well as diverse retail, leisure and cultural attractions.

The emirate is also family-friendly and safe, and Ghobash is confident that Abu Dhabi can offer the best care for patients and the best experiences for their family members.

The Economic Vision Initiative being pursued by Abu Dhabi intends to make the emirate become a preferred destination for tourists from all over the world, and medical tourism is seen as a major factor in that goal.  

The Congress is just the latest global event to be held within the UAE capital.

Congress 2019 is to include over 100 speakers and experts in addition to networking software.

Sponsors and attendees can also have meetings pre-planned in a networking hall during the conference.

Anyone travelling to Abu Dhabi for the event should take out travel insurance to ensure that they are financially covered in the event of cancelled flights or other issues.


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