Abdulla Ali Al Mahyan, Chairman, Sharjah Health Authority (SHA): Interview

Interview: Abdulla Ali Al Mahyan

Which factors are shaping the development of the health sector in Sharjah?

ABDULLA ALI AL MAHYAN: The UAE’s health care market is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of approximately 10% between 2019 and 2023. Moreover, by 2025 the population of Sharjah alone is expected to reach nearly 2m, which will require an increase in the number of dedicated health care facilities. The SHA and Sharjah Healthcare City (SHCC) are working to meet this heightened demand by focusing on attracting hospitals and clinics that specialise in a variety of disciplines. These can range from advanced diagnostics, surgery and rehabilitation to disease-specific treatment – most notably for cancer, cardiovascular disease, nephritic ailments and diabetes. This will also include complementary and alternative medicines.

The expansion of service has been made possible by Sharjah’s attractiveness as an investment destination. In addition to providing a safe and business-friendly environment for foreign and local investment, Sharjah hosts a well-diversified economy. This has enabled it to weather a challenging global economic climate, while outpacing other emirates in terms of GDP expansion.

To what extent has the pandemic impacted longterm strategy and planning?

AL MAHYAN: While the pandemic has had negative effects on the health care sector, it has brought the industry to the forefront globally, and shined a spotlight on the importance of prevention and research. Both components will become increasingly prominent in ongoing efforts to improve health provision, as well as long-term development strategies.

Beyond this, the pandemic accelerated existing trends in digitalisation, particularly in the effectiveness and efficiency of remote consultation and treatment. This will have a beneficial impact on the entire system, and technology will be a major driver of transformation and investment. In line with this, the SHCC is implementing initiatives aimed at fully digitalising several processes, including licensing.

In what ways can Sharjah positively differentiate itself in terms of medical tourism?

AL MAHYAN: Sharjah’s strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and Asia – as well as between the Gulf and the Gulf of Oman – makes it an ideal centre for trade and commerce. Sharjah functions as the gateway to the northern emirates, and the SHCC is located in close proximity to Sharjah International Airport. From there, Sharjah’s own airline, Air Arabia, connects businesses to the MENA region and the Indian sub-continent. Sharjah has already raised its profile on the global tourism map with its cultural attractions in recent years, and these factors taken together will facilitate the expansion of medical tourism.

How can the SHCC attract investment in the health care sector moving forwards?

AL MAHYAN: Since its inception, the SHCC has sought to attract investment and build a sustainable health care ecosystem – comprising services from prevention to treatment to cures – with research supporting all segments. Although the adverse global economic situation has resulted in a drop in investment, this slowdown is likely to be temporary. Indeed, the UAE expects an overall surge in health care investment in the coming years.

Sharjah’s public-private partnership framework will channel this investment in a way that will allow investors and citizens to see tangible results. Through the SHCC, the government is improving the ease of access to the entire range of health services, as well as establishing a transparent regulatory framework and providing economic incentives.

You have reached the limit of premium articles you can view for free. 

Choose from the options below to purchase print or digital editions of our Reports. You can also purchase a website subscription giving you unlimited access to all of our Reports online for 12 months.

If you have already purchased this Report or have a website subscription, please login to continue.

The Report: Sharjah 2021

Education & Health chapter from The Report: Sharjah 2021

Cover of The Report: Sharjah 2021

The Report

This article is from the Education & Health chapter of The Report: Sharjah 2021. Explore other chapters from this report.

Choose a chapter from The Report: Sharjah 2021

Covid-19 Economic Impact Assessments

Stay updated on how some of the world’s most promising markets are being affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and what actions governments and private businesses are taking to mitigate challenges and ensure their long-term growth story continues.

Register now and also receive a complimentary 2-month licence to the OBG Research Terminal.

Register Here×

Product successfully added to shopping cart