Middle East Hospital Building Spree Means Boost in Future Demand for Medical Devices

Massive healthcare facility construction projects across the Arabian Peninsula suggest a significant boost in near-term regional demand for medical devices and technology, and a major opportunity for foreign manufacturers seeking new markets.

According to ConstructionWeekOnline.com, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and neighboring countries have embarked on multi-billion-dollar hospital and research facility building projects as overall healthcare spending in the Middle East increases.

The largest such project, the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Project for the Development of Security Forces Medical Complexes in the KSA, will cost $6.7 billion and should be completed in 2014. A $1.2 billion, 1500-bed healthcare facility, King Abdullah Medical City, is also under construction in the KSA.

Major hospital construction projects are also underway in Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The 15 largest projects in the region total roughly $20 billion.

Within the past year, the launch of a more formalized medical device approval system in the KSA now allows foreign manufacturers to leverage their existing registrations in markets such as the US, Europe and Canada in order to commercialize their devices in Saudi Arabia. A relatively streamlined registration system (at least in Saudi Arabia) coupled with a healthcare-related regional construction boom point to lucrative Middle East prospects for medical device manufacturers.

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