Shaikh Mohammad opened the Arab Health Conference and Exhibition at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Monday. He toured the stands and pavilions of companies participating in the event, which runs till Thursday. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Foreign governments and international companies showcased the latest advances in health care technology on the opening day of the 35th Arab Health Exhibition and Congress at the Dubai Exhibition Centre on Monday.

The event, which is the centre's biggest to date, was inaugurated by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Over 55,000 visitors are expected to attend the exhibition, which features more than 2,700 companies from 70 countries. Organisers attribute the large turnout to the Middle East's burgeoning health care sector which has enjoyed robust growth despite the global economic downturn.

Simon Page, Group Director of the Life Sciences Division of organisers IIR Middle East, said: "The health care world has descended on the Arab Health Exhibition and Congress, which has again confirmed it is one of the world's most important health care exhibitions.

"Arab Health provides an unrivalled opportunity for professionals to bring their knowledge and understanding up to date and is a testament to the continuing development of the region's health care sector."

UK Business Ambassador Lord Ara Darzi, a former UK government health minister, addressed senior surgeons and clinicians from across the region on the first day of the congress.

Lord Darzi was part of a delegation from UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), a UK government organisation that helps UK-based companies operate abroad.

Jane Grady, Head of Life Sciences at UKTI, said: "UKTI is here to showcase the UK life sciences sector as a world leader in innovation. Our presence here is increased this year due to additional government funding and support, which means we are able to do even more to promote UK companies and show off UK innovations and expertise."

The New Zealand government's economic development agency also supported several New Zealand health care companies who were eyeing expansion at the conference.

Wayne Mikkelsen, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Commissioner, said: "The Gulf's growing health sector is of great strategic importance to New Zealand and presents considerable opportunities for trade with the GCC."

Among the other countries represented at the event was Germany, which has mounted its biggest-ever representation at a health event overseas with over 400 companies participating in the event.

There are also large representations from China, UAE, UK, US and India.

Haiti: Medical aid collected

Medical supplies were collected for the victims of the Haiti earthquake at the venue of the Arab Health Congress yesterday. The supplies will be sent to Love a Child, a non-profit humanitarian organisation, and other groups. Ralph Childs, managing partner of GTech Medical Services, said: "Arab Health is the perfect venue for involving the world community."

Patients' medical history to be compiled electronically