Dubai 2007: Patient build-up for Gulf medical market

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Patient build-up for gulf medical market

Until recently, most medevac traffic from the Gulf was one way, comprising wealthy locals and expatriates heading to Europe or the USA for specialist private medical treatment unavailable in the region.

But with Abu Dhabi and Dubai investing in world-leading medical facilities, a market is emerging for Arabs flying into the UAE, preferring the setting of a Middle Eastern hospital to a Western one.

"The air ambulance market is currently an export one, but we are seeing the start of an import market," says Phil Markham of Abu Dhabi-based Falcon Aviation, which will operate at least one of its four new Grob SPns as a dedicated air ambulance.

Falcon is entering a sector dominated by local rival Royal Jet, which makes 18% of its revenues from medevac.