Dubai Healthcare City Operational Review: Progress In Medical Education And Wellness Expansion Lead 2015 First Half Results

Dubai – October 6, 2015: Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), the world’s largest healthcare free zone, today released its operational review, updating the market on projects across the range of its activities, demonstrating positive momentum in healthcare, medical education, and regulatory through the first half of 2015.

Compared to the same period in 2014, strategic projects in medical education and wellness lead growth, driving confidence to achieve strong second half results.

H1 2015 Highlights 

  • Unveiled visual identity of the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences; announced  new academic partner Queen’s University Belfast
  • Introduced new identity for first College – Hamdan Bin Mohammed College of Dental Medicine
  • Launched Phase 2 project – expansion into wellness, spread over land area of 22 million square feet
  • Announced September opening of new business partner in Phase 2 – the Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai (SISD)
  • Added 34 countries to licensing framework bringing total to 63
  • Licensed 526 healthcare professionals, bringing total to 5,060
  • Introduced new health insurance law within DHCC
  • Organized 2nd UAE Clinical Simulation Conference
  • Increased number of trainees by more than 50 percent at the Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Medical Simulation Center, bringing total to 4,000
  • Achieved high continuing medical education (CME) credit hours, crossing 500
  • Maintained 96% occupancy in DHCC main buildings
  • Welcomed 10 new clinical facilities and four non-clinical
  • Held 250 events with more than 15,000 participants at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Center

Her Excellency Dr Raja Al Gurg, Vice-Chairperson and Executive Director of the Dubai Healthcare City Authority, said the first half of 2015 has cemented Dubai Healthcare City’s plans to increase the supply of qualified medical professionals and to ensure an equipped, trained existing medical force. “With the launch of the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences and partnering with Queen’s University Belfast, we reinforce our commitment to human capital in the Emirate and to our strategic partnerships in building a world-class healthcare system in the UAE,” said Dr Al Gurg.

Dubai Healthcare City’s growth has been spurred by regulation and capacity planning. The Phase 2 project launch, DHCC’s wellness expansion, is part of its vision. “Phase 2 will drive the global trend of preventative healthcare as we introduce unique rehabilitation and wellness concepts,” she added.

The free zone’s regulator, the Dubai Healthcare City Authority – Regulatory, ensures a fair, transparent and equitable process of governance, consistent with regulatory best practice.


Regulations are integral for sustained growth, said Dr Ramadan AlBlooshi, Managing Director, Dubai Healthcare City Authority – Regulatory, “There have been continuous regulatory advances in Dubai Healthcare City. Earlier this year we included 34 new countries to our licensing framework that now covers 63 countries. We also increased the list of online examinations enabling a wider pool of healthcare professionals including physicians and dentists to apply. Further, we have begun implementing the new health insurance law within Dubai Healthcare City. Together with other stringent measures, we are confident of maintaining momentum,” he said.

Medical education projects have given stimulus to first-half results.  “We are pleased with the milestones we have achieved in medical education, said Dr Amer Ahmad Sharif, Managing Director – Education, Dubai Healthcare City. “These very milestones will spur growth for the rest of the year and the next. We are preparing to welcome the first intake of undergraduate medical students in September 2016 for the College of Medicine, the second College of the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences.”

He said the goal to provide high quality medical education – undergraduate and postgraduate programmes as well as continuing professional development courses, is part of the paradigm to keep patients healthy. “Quality medical education will ensure that the skills of healthcare professionals are not just limited to the profession but extended to being taught to work better together with players in the health system from pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers to insurance companies,” said Dr Sharif. 


In line with expectations, Dubai Healthcare City recorded an increase in clinical facilities from a total of 124 in 2014 to 132 by mid-2015; DHCC has 190 non-clinical facilities.


The Mohammed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Center (MBR- AMC) is the seat of medical education and research at Dubai Healthcare City. The MBR- AMC is home to the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBR-UMHS).

The student community as well as members of the DHCC clinical community can access Dubai Healthcare City’s learning resources – Al Maktoum Medical Library (AMML) and the Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Medical Simulation Center (KHMSC).

The MBR-AMC caters to medical education events through its conference center and education suites and lecture halls.

The volume of medical education events – Continuing Professional Development (CPD), Continuing Medical Education (CME) and industry conferences – in the first half of 2015 saw a higher volume, recording close to 250 events with more than 15,000 attendees. Last year, annual volume of medical education events was represented by 300 plus events and 20,000 plus attendees.

For the first time, the MBR-AMC achieved the highest CME credit hours – 506.75.

Major CPD events included:

  • City University London: School of Health Sciences Health Conference
  • Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) – What Works
  • Dubai International Anesthesia Conference & Exhibition
  • 2nd Gulf Liver Summit In Collaboration with Houston Methodist Hospital
  • Emirates Medical Association Mini  Medical School
  • Global Consultation on Treatment of Latent Tuberculosis by Harvard Medical School
  • Regional Conference for Sharing Best Practices in Implementing JCI Standards for Hospitals
  • Destination Medicine by Al Jalila Foundation
  • 1st International Conference in Pediatrics &Obstetrics-Gynecology of Columbia University Medical Center

The MBR-AMC was host to distinguished regional and international speakers including Professor Joseph Gonnella, Director, Center for Research in Medical Education and Health Care and Dean Emeritus for the Jefferson Medical College, US; Dr. Mohammed Qahash, St. Luke’s Hospital, Department of Dentistry, US; Professor Giovanni Romeo, Director of the European School of Genetic Medicine, Italy; Professor Dave Davis, Senior Director, Continuing Education and Performance Improvement, Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), US; and Prof Nuno Sousa, Director of Medical Degree from the School of Health Science, University of Minho, Portugal and Member of National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) in the US.

DHCC signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with the UAE Ministry of Health, Mediclinic Middle East, and Drydocks World. The MoUs signify collaboration to further medical education, technical training and research.

The 2nd UAE Clinical Simulation Conference (CSC) organized in collaboration with the Society in Europe for Simulation Applied to Medicine (SESAM), took place from 24-26 February at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Center (MBR-AMC). The international body SESAM is a network of simulation professionals who support the use of simulation in healthcare for training and research; the CSC 2015 marked the 1st SESAM MENA conference.

Themed ‘Simulation: Heart of Patient Safety’, the Conference highlighted simulation technology in healthcare. The Conference had close to 200 attendees from 23 countries. From the Conference, 33 oral abstract presentations and nine poster abstract presentations were accepted.

Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences

Since Dubai Healthcare City’s first medical university, the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBR-UMHS), was announced in September 2014, several milestones have been achieved.

The MBR-UMHS received its initial license from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MOHESR). In the first phase, it announced two Colleges – the first and operational College for postgraduate dental students, and the second, the College of Medicine for undergraduate medical students that is expected to commence applications in September for an intake in 2016 of 50 students.

The visual identity of the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBR-UMHS) was unveiled on the opening day of Arab Health 2015 at the Dubai Healthcare City pavilion.

An agreement was signed with UK-based Queen’s University Belfast, one of the UK’s leading research-intensive universities, to develop the MBR-UMHS and its College of Medicine. The partnership with Queen’s includes quality assurance in curriculum development, recruitment and selection of staff, and student selection and admissions among other areas.

Hamdan Bin Mohammed College of Dental Medicine 

The Hamdan Bin Mohammed College of Dental Medicine (HBMCDM) is the first college established under the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Formerly the Dubai College of Dental Medicine, the new identity was announced in February 2015. The college is under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council.

The academic arm of the College offers six postgraduate Programmes – Endodontics, Oral Surgery, Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics and Prosthodontics – accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MOHESR).

As of June 2015, 60 residents, up from 52 in 2014, are enrolled representing UAE nationals (majority), and from Bahrain, Greece, Jordan, India, Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria and United Kingdom.

Through the Dubai Dental Clinic (DDC), its clinical arm, it provides the highest standards of dental care, offering a comprehensive range of specialized services including cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics and periodontal treatment.

The Dubai Dental Clinic was chosen to support the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Oral Hygiene Initiative, which was announced in May by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan. The ongoing Initiative in collaboration with the Permanent Committee for Labor Affairs (PCLA) in Dubai aims to screen more than 2,000 workers by year end.

The same month, a press conference was held to launch the Initiative, marked by the first screening during which 43 workers were examined. As of June, 536 workers have been screened.

Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Medical Simulation Center

The Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Medical Simulation Center (KHMSC) is the first state-of-the-art comprehensive training facility in the region. The number of healthcare professionals trained has more than doubled from 612 to 1,203 compared to the same period last year. Since the Center’s opening in 2012, the total trainees are more than 4,000.

The technical and soft skills courses covered different areas of medicine and clinical trauma. Major courses included: BLS (Basic Life Support); ALERT (Acute Life-threatening Events–Recognition and Treatment); Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED by American Heart Association’s (AHA); orientation to simulation to delegates from the UAE Ministry of Health and Emirates Airline; and courses by leading provider of medical systems such as Maquet.

In June, the KHMSC participated at SESAM Belfast 2015, a conference that focused on the latest advances and innovations in medical simulation for assessment and training.

Al Maktoum Medical Library

Al Maktoum Medical Library (AMML) supports the medical community as well as the students, medical and academic staff of the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences by providing access to quality and authoritative information resources.

The number of patron registrants has increased and stands at 1,912 compared to 1,431 at the end of 2014. Close to 3,500 individuals visited the library, compared to 2,482 during the same period last year, to access over 15 electronic databases and e-resources, 16,500 e-books and journal titles.


In the first half of the year, 10 new clinical facilities established presence in DHCC. To name a few: Dr Elsa New Concept Clinic; Dr Dana Diet Center; Dr. Marrapodi Italian Dental Clinic; London Sleep Center; Aesthetic Professional Medical Clinic; Pro-Age Clinic; and Dr Shyams Ayurveda Center. Last year, nine clinical facilities opened during the same period.

Two existing facilities have expanded their presence in DHCC – German Health Consultant & Novo Nordisk Pharma Gulf, and four non-clinical offices have opened including Optum Health and Technology, Acino MEA, and HG Gulf.

In addition, AMICO, a leading company in the medical device industry, announced it will relocate its headquarters to Dubai Healthcare City. The building will comprise 67,800 square feet of modern office space and training facilities, and is expected to be ready by 2017.

With the growth in new entrants and existing partners’ expansion, demand for space in DHCC is on the rise. Occupancy of DHCC main buildings is maintained at 96%. The attrition rate remains under five percent, which is considered the industry average.

In March, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, launched at Dubai World Trade Center Dubai Healthcare City’s Phase 2 project, which spreads over land area of 22 million square feet located at Jadaf Dubai, parallel to Al Garhoud Bridge.

The launch is in line with the UAE Vision 2021 and Dubai Plan 2021, contributing to shoring up the national economy.

Phase 2 is DHCC’s expansion into wellness, completing the continuum of care. It will drive wellness tourism together with medical tourism, and bring together unique wellness concepts and specialized services for both residents and visitors.

The Swiss International Scientific School Dubai (SISSD) will be a new business partner to operate in the Phase 2 development, beginning September for the academic year 2015-16. The School will offer multi-lingual education through the International Baccalaureate (IB) and Swiss Matura curricula.


Regulation and licensure of all healthcare professionals and healthcare operators together with the handling of any complaints arising from the provision of clinical services are overseen and handled by the Dubai Healthcare City Authority, the governing body and regulator of Dubai Healthcare City.

In the first half of 2015, Dubai Healthcare City Authority – Regulatory licensed 526 healthcare professionals to bring the total to 5,060, compared to the same period last year during which 315 professionals were licensed.

Despite an increase in the number of clinical facilities and healthcare professionals, first half of 2014 saw a marginal increase in the number of complaints from 24 last year, same period to 27. Typically complaints include medical errors, inappropriate treatment, miscommunication and negligence.

In January, 34 countries were added to the licensing framework totaling 63 countries.

In May, a new Resolution No (8) of 2015 was announced recognizing Dubai Healthcare City Authority as the sole authority to register healthcare facilities; to approve prices for healthcare services; and to monitor approved prices, among other responsibilities.

In June, workshops were conducted on the new Resolution and its impact on existing and new healthcare facilities in Dubai Healthcare City. The workshops were attended by more than 100 representatives from healthcare facilities and medical insurance companies.


As a patron of healthcare, DHCC held a series of initiatives demonstrating commitment to the wider community in Dubai.

Dubai Healthcare City marked global health observances with public health screenings and activities. On World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, the DHCC team visited its centers specializing in autism therapy and met close to 100 children from ages two to 14 years diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Health screenings were also organized on World Health Day and World No Tobacco Day.

DHCC hosted media roundtable sessions with healthcare specialists from DHCC on ‘Aesthetics: trends and concerns’ and ‘Ramadan fasting with medical conditions’.

In addition, Dubai Healthcare City held three networking events for business partners under the themes ‘Social Branding & Talent Acquisition with LinkedIn’; ‘Introduction to Insurance Companies’; and ‘Social Media & Digital Marketing Strategy’, attended by close to 200 representatives from DHCC-based clinical- and non-clinical facilities

In addition, successful patient cases were released: an Emirati toddler, Ahmed, with multiple compilations was treated at Dr. Majdi El Halik Physical and Mental Rehabilitation Center; Jordanian Suha Bashayreh, an amputee patient, who was treated by an interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, the German Limbtech Orthopedic Technology center, and supported by donors at various intervals over six years; and Hussain Mohammed Al Sultan, a six-year-old Saudi national with autism showed remarkable progress at Stepping Stones Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Caption: Dubai Healthcare City: Operational Review infographic captures 2015 first-half results, highlighting strategic projects in medical education and wellness.

**Please note, Thumbay Group, Gulf Medical University, and HEALTH magazine are not liable nor responsible for the facts, figures, and overall content of the press releases on our portal.

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