Oman plans big medical tourism project
Muscat, February 7, 2012
Apex Medical Group (AMG), part of leading Saudi group Al Joaib Holding, has signed a 500,000 sq m land acquisition deal with Oman ministry of tourism for the development of an integrated medical tourism project in the city of Salalah.
As per the agreement, AMG will develop a medical city, comprising a 530-bed tertiary care hospital integrated with the regional multispecialty organ transplant and rehabilitation centre, a hitech diagnostic and medical prevention centre, healthcare resort and a healthcare education complex.
The integrated medical tourism complex is in line with the five-year tourism development plan of Sultanate's Ministry of Tourism, remarked Dr Abdullah Al Joaib, the president of AMG and Al Joaib Holding, after signing the agreement with the Oman authorities.
Apart from Dr Abdulla, the project has the support of its key promotor Dr Mohammad Al Sofayan, deputy chairman of the Liver Transplantation Department in Saudi and also a renowned transplant surgeon who has performed over 300 livers transplants.
The medical city project is also being strongly supported by the Oman Government including the Ministry of Health (MoH) as it is first healthcare infrastructure development project in the Sultanate by a private investor, he added.
Dr Al Joaib said the regional medical tourism project (TMC) will be developed initially on 500,000 sq m land with government-approved expansion plan to 800,000 sq m by the Arabian Sea in Salalah, a regional tourism hot spot.
The TMC site is a 15 minutes drive from the Salalah International air port which is undergoing expansion due to be completed in 2014. The new airport is designed to cater the future demand of handling 2-6 million passengers annually.
Thanking the government for land allotment, Dr Abdullah said, "The medical city project is in line with Oman’s vision to diversify its economy and invest in tourism so as to become a major contributor to the Sultanate’s Gross Domestic Product."
"This integrated medical tourism project of AMG also reflects the wider international growth market of medical tourism, which is predicted to be worth over $100 billion by 2012," he added.-TradeArabia News Service