Action Hotels Behind Dubai’s Health Tourism Drive

Novotel Bur Dubai opens as first mid-economy hotel in Dubai Healthcare City

Dubai’s health tourism sector is on track to top half a million visitors in 2020, according to His Excellency Sheikh Mubarak AM Al-Sabah, chairman of Action Hotels.

Sheikh Mubarak, who is behind the opening of the first mid-economy hotel in Dubai Healthcare City, said the UAE’s medical tourism sales are pegged to achieve in excess of Dh14 billion next year.

“Recent reports indicate revenues from inbound visitors using the UAE’s world-class medical facilities passed Dhs12m in 2018,” he said.

Turning specifically to Dubai, Sheikh Mubarak remains positive about the emirate’s hospitality sector, even in the wake of a 15% drop in room rates.

“Up to June this year, Dubai recorded 8.36m visitors with between 2-3% attributed to health tourism. There is room for growth in this sector.

“We must recognise, however, that medical tourism is a highly competitive segment which requires affordable accommodation for patients who often travel with their families.

“It is important for medical tourists to be as close as possible to their treatment base and all these factors created a compelling case for a Novotel property in the Healthcare City neighbourhood,” he shared.

The 219-room Novotel Bur Dubai opened in August and is already recording good occupancy, a commendable room rate, as well as repeat guests.  It is the 14th property in the Action Hotels portfolio, the third in the UAE but the first in Dubai.

“I have often been asked why we are not in Dubai and the answer is easy. Action Hotels selects destinations and locations that our target audience want in order to achieve the best for their visit.

“The location in Healthcare City is a perfect match for this mid-economy property to serve the health tourism visitor who needs a reliable, safe and interesting hotel with an understanding, individual service culture to support their stay.”

Sheikh Mubarak said this is also true of family groups, as well as the increasing trend of business executives towards medium stays, of one week and more.

“We are not in the business of ‘hotels as trophy assets’ but in the business of hotels that guests want to stay in. From 2004, we have placed our full commitment with the mid-economy sector opening almost a property a year since then,” he said.

Novotel Bur Dubai is the 12th hotel project between Action Hotels and Accor. In 2020, the partnership is poised to open the doors to two properties in Saudi Arabia, bring the number of hotels in the Arabian Gulf to 12: Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, three in Oman, and two each in Kuwait and Bahrain.

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