The demand for healthcare professionals in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is expected to increase in the coming years. By 2030, the country will need more than 33,000 nurses and allied health professionals to meet its healthcare needs.
A recent report by Colliers Healthcare & Education Division revealed that Abu Dhabi will face a shortage of 11,000 nurses and 5,000 allied health professionals by 2030. Dubai will require 6,000 physicians and 11,000 nurses.
This increased demand is driven by factors such as population growth, medical tourism, the rise of chronic diseases, an aging population, higher patient expectations, and advancements in treatment innovation and technology.
Mansoor Ahmed the Executive Director and Head of Development Solutions for Healthcare, Education, and Public-Private Partnerships in the MIDDLE East and Africa region at Colliers explained that the demand is shifting from traditional skills to advanced medical education. This shift is prompted by the region’s adoption of new medical technologies.
According to Colliers, UAE has 157 hospitals, with 104 operated by the private sector. The country has slightly over 18,000 beds, of which 8,356 are operated by private entities.
In terms of physicians, there are 26,736 employed in the country, with 10,376 in Dubai, 10,141 in Abu Dhabi, and 5,358 in the Northern Emirates.
Compared to the average in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, UAE has higher physician and nurse density, with 2.9 physicians and 6.4 nurses per 1,000 population, respectively.
In Abu Dhabi, the most in-demand doctor roles will be in psychiatry, emergency medicine, radiation oncology, intensive care, and orthopedic surgery. In the allied health category, there will be a high demand for those specializing in psychology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, lab technicians, and emergency technicians.
In Dubai, the demand will primarily be for doctors specializing in general medicine, general surgery, pediatrics, anesthesiology, obstetrics, endocrinology, cardiology, and nephrology.