According to various industry reports, the GCC’s healthcare market is projected to be worth $69.4 billion by 2018, with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE leading the charge as the region looks to reinvent itself as a medical-tourism hub.
Not only is this a good thing for a region that has historically lacked major healthcare infrastructure, but it’s also interesting to note the impact it’s going to have on how we approach the construction of these hospitals, clinics and research facilities.
Gone are the days when hospitals are bland, identikit, featureless concrete blocks. Architects and engineers now focus on turning these spaces into well-designed and planned structures that are also highly specialised and specified. With investors keen to turn the GCC into a medical tourism hub, this approach is key, as patient comfort and well-being is just as important as performance and functionality.
With medical technology also moving forwards at a rapid pace, it becomes essential that these buildings are futureproofed so that they can adapt with the technology.
This is one of the biggest challenges facing engineers and designers and it’s pleasing to see that the industry is setting itself up to be a global leader in this regard.
This is highlighted clearly in our top ten list of healthcare projects in the GCC, which is a showcase of some of the most inspiring and well-designed hospitals and medical cities in the region, if not the world.
Given the amount of money and resources that are being poured into the healthcare sector, I’m confident that we’ll soon see this region emerge as a leading medical tourism destination, rivalling the likes of the UK, Canada and Singapore, especially since we have Africa, Asia and the Levant region right on our doorstep.