Dubai: Non-invasive cosmetic procedures carried out by reliable reconstructive surgeons are in demand in Dubai and one of the main attractions for health tourism according to the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) findings, which has revealed statistics in context of an upcoming international health tourism conference to be held on February 20 and 21

In 2016, Dubai witnessed an overall growth of 9.5 per cent in the number of medical and health tourists, with 326,649 international medical visitors. The revenue generated from international patients was worth more than Dh1 billion, reinforcing the growing contribution of the sector to the national GDP.

Orthopaedic, dermatology and ophthalmology, dental treatment, fertility treatment and cosmetic surgery procedures were the most sought medical and health tourism specialities.

Dh1 billion
Revenue generated from international patients in 2016

Dr Marwan Ahmad Al Zarouni, Head of Plastic Surgery Department at Rashid Hospital and President of the Emirates Plastic Surgery Society, said: “In general, cosmetic surgery procedures are becoming more and more popular in the UAE and globally. Among such procedures, Botox and fillers are becoming increasingly common. The reason is that such rejuvenation procedures are quick and give the desired results. People leading busy lives do not need to take too much time away for these treatments. However, the key is to ensure that people go to licensed practitioners and use quality products to avoid complications.”

Dr Zarouni who was speaking ahead of the first Dubai International Symposium for Plastic and Reconstructive surgery explained the difference between different kinds of plastic surgery available in Dubai. “There are two types of plastic surgery procedures. Cosmetic surgery is not necessary and occurs because the person wants to achieve a certain vision of beauty. These include procedures such as tummy tucks and liposuction. Reconstructive plastic surgery is necessary and is used to treat issues such as congenital conditions and burns. It is the use of surgery to restore the form and function of the body,” he explained.

Listing other reconstructive surgery procedures, Dr Al Zarouni said bariatric surgery is a common procedure but it is not a cosmetic procedure for patients with morbid obesity. “However, post-bariatric surgery or post excessive weight loss, body-contouring surgery is a cosmetic procedure,” he added.