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Bangalore, March 4

The Dubai-based Emaar Properties on Saturday announced its plans to enter the healthcare sector in India, where it plans to invest a sizeable amount for construction of hospitals, clinics and medical centres for providing world-class medical services.

It will also be entering into partnerships with established healthcare institutions to ensure qualified doctors, staff and specialists to set best practice standards in the regional healthcare.

$5-b investment planned

Emaar would invest $5 billion over the next decade to set up healthcare centres in India, Middle East, North Africa (MENA) and South Asia markets.

The plan involves developing and managing about 100 hospitals each with 200 bed capacities and super medical specialities added in key centres.

Boom in medical tourism

South Asia is witnessing a boom in medical tourism. As many as 1.5-lakh medical tourists visited India's world-class hospitals last year, which is expected to grow by 15 per cent. Medical tourism in India is expected to become a $2.3-billion industry by 2012, according to market estimates.

Emaar will also be targeting the wealthy individuals from MENA who travel to the West to access world-class medical treatment.

The Chairman, Mohamed Ali Alabbar, said: "Emaar's expansion into the healthcare business is part of our holistic approach to property development and complements our earlier announced plans for the education sector.''

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 5, 2006)
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