Almost $14 billion (Dh51.4bn) is being spent in Gulf countries on new hospital and healthcare facilities currently in various stages of construction in a series of major public, private and jointly financed initiatives, according to new research from Proleads.
"In addition, while real estate projects in the region are suffering, not one hospital related project has yet been cancelled or put on hold as a direct result of the current global economic slowdown," said Simon Page, Director of Life Sciences Division, IIR Middle East, organisers of Arab Health, which takes place from January 26 to 29 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The figures show Saudi Arabia leading the way with total healthcare projects valued at more than $6.6bn currently being built. Current spending in the UAE and Qatar on new healthcare facilities is closely matched at $2.9bn and $2.8bn respectively.
The Proleads database of healthcare projects shows that Saudi Arabia is in the midst of a major construction programme with a total of 83 projects ranging from the $400m King Saud University Medical City in Riyadh to the $5m Qatif Central Hospital expansion in the Eastern Province.
Qatar only has two projects currently under way with the Sidra Medical and Research Centre, which forms part of Doha's Education City development being budgeted at $2.3bn.
In the UAE, the biggest project currently under way is the $1.9bn first phase of the Cleveland Clinic Al Suwwa Island development in Abu Dhabi followed by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Academic Medical Centre in Dubai Healthcare City budgeted at $572m.
Kuwait has a major hospital project under construction – the $1.2bn Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah Hospital while Bahrain is spending $130m on the King Hamad General Hospital.
"The GCC states are committed to growth in basic infrastructure, of which healthcare is one of the key elements in their long-term strategies," Page said.