The Arab world’s largest gathering of healthcare professionals was inaugurated yesterday, Monday 24 January 2011, by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance.
The four-day Arab Health Exhibition and Congress, which runs until Thursday 27 January 2011, is the biggest event of its kind in the Middle East and has taken all available exhibition space at the Dubai World Trade, featuring more than 2800 exhibiting companies from 60 countries covering 85,000 square metres.
“The global healthcare profession has come together at Arab Health 2011 which has again confirmed its positioning as one of the world’s most important healthcare events,” said Simon Page, Divisional Director of the Life Sciences Division of organisers IIR Middle East, who accompanied Sheikh Hamdan on a tour of the show.
“Arab Health provides over 65,000 visiting healthcare professionals a unique opportunity to bring their knowledge and understanding up to date with over 480 hours of continuing medical education (CME). Working closely with Cleveland Clinic, the content in all 18 conferences is approved by the American Medical Association,” added Page.
Today six concurrent conferences were taking place, with topics ranging from gastroenterology and anaesthesia to orthopaedics. One of the highlights was undoubtedly the opening remarks by Dr. Samer H. Ellahham, Chief Quality Officer, Senior Consultant, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Cleveland Clinic in Abu Dhabi, at the opening of the Quality Management (QM) in Healthcare Conference. QM is seen as integral to lowering healthcare costs, which are estimated to rise fivefold in the region over the next 15 years.
“There are significant gaps in quality management practices throughout the Middle East. We need to raise the importance of quality management, to improve the quality of healthcare,” said Dr. Ellahham.
With the Middle East healthcare sector continuing to enjoy robust growth despite the debt crisis and stubborn levels of unemployment in Europe and the US, more than 300 new exhibitors and a host of new country pavilions are participating this year, with Argentina, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Portugal making their debuts, according to the organisers.
This year, major delegations have come from China with over 400 participating companies, Germany with over 350 companies and United Arab Emirates, United States, United Kingdom and Italy, all with well over 150 companies exhibiting. Large representations also come from France, India, South Korea and Taiwan with upwards of 100 companies each.
“It is also a clear vote of confidence in the continuing development of the region’s healthcare sector, which is estimated to triple its spending to $60 billion annually by 2025,” said Page.
After considering over 200 nominations, the winners of the Arab Health Achievement and Innovation Awards, will be announced during a gala dinner tomorrow tonight (25 January 2011) at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dubai. The awards recognise individuals, hospitals, departments, teams and organisations contributing to the growth and development of the industry. One new award this year is the Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Humanitarian City Award For Excellence In Rehabilitation Services, acknowledging the vital role physiotherapy plays in treating the disabled.
The Arab Health Exhibition and Congress is supported by the UAE Ministry of Health, Dubai Health Authority and the Abu Dhabi Health Authority. For further information log on to: www.arabhealthonline.com .