Arab Health 2012: Paving the way for a healthy Middle East
All eyes were on Dubai at the end of last month as the world’s healthcare professionals and companies specialising in medical equipment came together at the Arab Health Exhibition & Congress 2012 at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, UAE. As the 37th edition of the event, the show achieved an estimated 18% increase in visitor numbers, highlighting the ever-increasing importance of the healthcare sector in the Middle East.
With the healthcare sector in the Middle East continuing to enjoy robust growth, more than 300 new exhibitors and a host of new country pavilions participated in the show this year, with Bulgaria, Hungry, Chile and Portugal making their debuts. In addition, major delegations also came from China with over 300 participating companies, Germany with over 370 companies and the UAE, UK and USA all with 580 companies each exhibiting.
“Arab Health is one of the most important shows in our yearly calendar,” said Waclaw Lukowicz, CEO of the healthcare sector in the Middle East and Africa at Siemens. “We put a lot of effort into the show because we know that we get to meet many of our most important customers during the event.”
“We had more visitors to our stand during the first day of the exhibition this year than we had in total last year,” added Hisham Hour, Senior Vice President of Welch Allyn. “Arab Health 2012 has truly been a success for us, and we couldn't be more pleased.”
Arab Health 2012 was inaugurated by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Finance Minister. Along with several other government dignitaries, Lord Darzi - a leading figure responsible for healthcare innovation and reform across the UK - also attended the event for the third year running to continue his work in promoting the UK Life Sciences industry and the NHS.
“We have found that the Middle East is very receptive to the services and knowledge offered by the UK Life Sciences industry,” said Lord Darzi. “We have been able to make a great deal of progress on building up relationships with the Middle East during Arab Health this year.”
Running alongside the exhibition and in partnership with Cleveland Clinic, 17 conferences provided medical professionals with Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits over the four days. 2012 saw the launch of several new conferences covering topics such as Medical Education, Wound Care, Biomedical Engineering and mHealth. In addition, many of the long-standing conferences were a complete sell-out, including the Paediatrics conference, Medlab, and Imaging and Diagnostics.
“This year Arab Health has seen groundbreaking news unveiled and many partnerships formed,” said Simon Page. “We look forward to seeing the results and impact on the healthcare industry and the benefits these new initiatives will bring to the care of patients and the community.”
The organisers of the event, Informa Exhibitions, placed a great deal of focus on Social Media during this year’s event, which proved to be a great success. With #arabhealth trending among the UAE’s twitterati during the week of the exhibition and the introduction of the social media space on the show floor, which provided regular seminars on how social media can benefit companies in the healthcare sector, the profile of Arab Health was elevated to even high levels than in previous years.
To add to the high profile of the event, the Arab Health Achievement and Innovation Awards were once again awarded to industry leaders and outstanding institutions across the Middle East on the second evening of Arab Health.
“Each year, the awards are playing an increasing role in improving healthcare standards across the region,” said Simon Page. “The winners were delighted to receive recognition for their work and we are proud to be able to reward industry leaders in this way.”
Undoubtedly a testament to the growth and development of the healthcare sector in the region, the Arab Health Exhibition & Congress clearly remains a global player in the field of medical innovation, healthcare education and sustainability. The success of Arab Health 2012 has paved the way for an even better event in 2013.
For information about the next edition of Arab Health Exhibition & Congress, please visit www.arabhealthonline.com.