The World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress (WMTC) will take place outside the USA for the first time, with its 12th edition set to be hosted in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates capital from 15-17 October 2019.

Organised by Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau, a part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) in collaboration with the Department of Health Abu Dhabi, WMTC Abu Dhabi 2019 will bring together representatives from the top hospitals, insurance companies, payers, ministries and other industry players from more than 90 countries.

The 2019 event will focus on China and Russia, as well as GCC nations such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain and other Middle East (MENA) countries and Northern Africa.

The first day of the event will feature the Ministerial Summit, hospital site tours and an all-day workshop event for industry insiders. The final two days of the Congress will feature keynote speeches and three educational sessions.

“Medical tourists can spend weeks in their destination, typically alongside family members,” said Jonathan Edelheit, Chairman and Co-Founder of the Medical Tourism Association (MTA) and WMTC Abu Dhabi. “As a result, medical travel and health tourism can have a big economic impact on the entire tourism sector,” he added.

Commenting on the conference, HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “We are proud to partner with the Medical Tourism Association to bring the World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress to Abu Dhabi, a move in line with our strategy to transform the emirate into a world-class healthcare hub. As an area with huge growth potential, the medical tourism sector is one of our primary focuses at the moment, an avenue through which we seek to further fuel the dynamic growth of the capital, in sync with the United Arab Emirates’ economic diversification plan.

“Abu Dhabi has all the necessary infrastructure to become one of the most popular medical tourism destinations in the world, offering world-class medical care and facilities alongside diverse cultural, retail and leisure attractions, all in a safe, secure and family-friendly destination. We are confident that the emirate can provide the best possible care and experience not only for patients but also their families and carers,” he added.

Medical tourism is a key factor in the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision initiative, which aims to establish the Emirate of Abu Dhabi among the most preferred destinations in the world.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Breaking Down Barriers” and with Abu Dhabi’s central location and ease of access, this year’s WMTC will be easier than ever to attend.

“Abu Dhabi has set the foundational elements and is now in a position to evolve into a world-class healthcare destination, making us proud to be their partner on this initiative and journey,” said Edelheit. “Through the support of the Abu Dhabi government we are hosting our largest buyer programme ever, flying in more than 100 key healthcare buyers from around the globe. While there, they will conduct Abu Dhabi hospital site tours and take B2B meetings to accelerate the growth of Abu Dhabi’s medical tourism initiative.” 


Niyi David

‘Niyi David is a travel writer/photographer and Editor-in-Chief at More Cream Than Coffee. Previously, he worked at Afro Tourism West Africa Ltd as a travel writer, and was Head of Media and C.O.O. before leaving in May 2018. Prior to that he had worked as scriptwriter on some major media projects in Nigeria, such as 'Peak Talent Show' and the Ford Foundation sponsored 'Stop Impunity in Nigeria' campaign.