Turkey: A key player in medical tourism

Turkey: A key player in medical tourism
Updated 28 October 2014

Turkey: A key player in medical tourism

Turkey: A key player in medical tourism

Turkey has emerged as one of the destinations for medical tourism as the country tries to boost tourism revenue.
History fanatics, adrenaline junkies, sunbathers and foodies are all in for a treat when heading for a holiday in Turkey, but the nation is also drawing tourists that are seeking to avail Turkey’s competitive edge in medical tourism.
Today, Turkey is the world’s sixth top destination in terms of tourist numbers.
Out of the roughly 35 million tourists, who visited Turkey last year, around 188,095 came for surgical procedures, from hair transplants and liposuction to cancer and orthopedic treatment, according to the World Tourism Organization (WTO).
The number of medical tourists who visited Turkey in the first six months of 2014 totaled 162,445 with revenues reaching $328 million.
“Currently, more than 1,000 patients travel to Turkey every year to take advantage of the medical services we offer,” said Fatih Ozturk, the project manager of VisitandCare.com, a patient and doctor matching service which helps visitors from the Middle East and Europe.
Meanwhile, those from less-developed nations are attracted by Western-trained medics and new facilities sprouting up as Turkey’s private health care industry flourishes.
Additionally, the fact that Turkey is a central tourist attraction is also enticing.
Turkey’s Health Ministry said the country has great advantages in terms of health tourism with a very convenient geographical location.
“The country has made significant improvements and began to compete with countries such as India, Malaysia, Thailand and Hungary, which are strong in the sector,” the report reads.
Foreign institutions including Malaysian sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional, Qatar’s First Investment Bank, Argus Capital Partners and the World Bank’s International Finance Corp. have put money into the Turkish health care sector.
The country is building medical facilities with public-private partnerships where the state will rent city hospitals built and run by the private sector for 25 years.
This year also, tourism is booming and that too not only in medical sector.
In fact, a seven percent rise in the number of visitors to Turkey has been recorded, which is welcomed by Tourism Minister Omer Celik Turkey saw a seven percent rise in the number of tourists visiting the country in the first eight months of 2014, the Turkish tourism minister reported.
Omer Celik said recently that nearly 25.7 million tourists came to Turkey between January and August compared to 23.7 million over the same period last year.
This is a very good record because the World Tourism Organization predicts world tourism’s growth at four to five percent this year but Turkey’s growth is exceeding seven percent.
Germans topped the list of foreign visitors to Turkey, followed by Russians and Britons.
On the other hand, Turkey offers a wealth of different kinds of destinations to travelers.
From the dome and minaret filled skyline of Istanbul to the Roman ruins along the western and southern coasts, from the beaches of Antalya and the Mediterranean seaside resorts to the misty mountains of Eastern Black Sea.
With so many amazing destinations a top 10 is bound to leave some great tourist attractions in Turkey out.
So consider this list of destinations as just the start of a great holiday in Turkey.
The list includes Aspendos Theatre, which boasts one of the best preserved ancient theaters of antiquity.
The theater of Aspendos was build in 155 AD during the rule of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius and could seat between 15,000 and 20,000 spectators.
Next is Patara Beach, which is one of the longest stretches of sandy beach found anywhere in the Mediterranean.
Then there is Pamukkale, meaning “cotton castle” in Turkish, which is an unreal landscape in western Turkey, famous for its white terraces.
The terraces are made of travertine, a sedimentary rock deposited by water with a very high mineral content from the hot springs.
Turkey is also called a land of castles and mosques.
Located in the city of Bodrum in southwest Turkey, Bodrum Castle was built by the Crusaders in the 15th century as the Castle of St. Peter.
It is one of the world’s best preserved monuments dating back to medieval times.
The castle now operates as a museum, with the focus on the Museum of Underwater Archaeology.
It overlooks the internal marina of Bodrum filled with millions of dollars worth of sailing crafts.
On the other side is Nemrut, which is a 2,134 meter (7,001 ft) high mountain in southeastern Turkey, near the city of Adiyaman.
The summit of Mount Nemrut provides a great view of the surrounding mountains.
The main attraction is to watch the sunrise from the eastern terrace, which give the bodyless heads a beautiful orange hue and adds to the sense of mystery of the place.
A visitor to Turkey can also enjoy its pastoral charm by visiting Oludeniz, which is a small village located on the south west coast on the Aegean Sea.
It has a secluded sandy bay at the mouth of Ölüdeniz, on a blue lagoon.
This beach is famous for its shades of turquoise and remains one of the most photographed beaches on the Mediterranean.
The long list of attractions in Turkey includes the famous Blue Mosque.
With its six minarets and sweeping architecture the Sultan Ahmed or Blue Mosque in Istanbul impresses from the outside.
While still used as a mosque, the Blue Mosque has also become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Istanbul.
It was built between 1609 and 1616 and like many other mosques contains the tomb of the founder.
Also, the ruins of Ephesus are a popular tourist attraction on the west coast.
Some of the structures can still be seen however including the Great Theater and the Library of Celsus.
The library was built around 125 AD to store 12,000 scrolls and to serve as a monumental tomb for Celsus, the governor of Asia.
Then there is another tourist wonder — Cappadocia, which is famous for its weird and wonderful natural rock formations and unique historical heritage.
On the top of the must-see list is Hagia Sophia.
Located in Istanbul, the Hagia Sophia was originally a basilica constructed for the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I in the sixth century.
A masterwork of Roman engineering, the massive dome (31 meters or 102 feet in diameter) covers what was for over 1,000 years the largest enclosed space in the world.


ThePlace: Tayeb Al-Ism, one of Saudi Arabia’s most stunning natural attractions

ThePlace: Tayeb Al-Ism, one of Saudi Arabia’s most stunning natural attractions
Updated 2 min 10 sec ago

ThePlace: Tayeb Al-Ism, one of Saudi Arabia’s most stunning natural attractions

ThePlace: Tayeb Al-Ism, one of Saudi Arabia’s most stunning natural attractions
  • Small streams run through the stones and groves of palm trees dot the inside of the valley

Tayeb Al-Ism is one of Saudi Arabia’s most stunning natural attractions. Visitors to the valley enjoy one surprise after another. The valley is located on the Gulf of Aqaba, 15 kilometers north of the coastal town of Maqna.

Palm groves and granite massifs surround the valley’s entrance, which is located between two massifs that appear to be split in half.

After leaving their cars, visitors follow a pedestrian bridge that gives hikers the impression that they are about to embark on a magical journey. Small streams run through the stones and groves of palm trees dot the inside of the valley.

Shade and the large number of streams help to regulate the temperature, ensuring conditions in the heart of Tayeb Al-Ism are always pleasant.

Moses is believed to have spent his voluntary exile in Madyan, the ancient name of the Gulf of Aqaba, and reached Tayeb Al-Ism, hence the name “Valley of Moses.”


Who’s Who: Sultan Al-Qahtani, spokesperson of KSA’s Citizen Account Program

Who’s Who: Sultan Al-Qahtani, spokesperson of KSA’s Citizen Account Program
Updated 14 May 2021

Who’s Who: Sultan Al-Qahtani, spokesperson of KSA’s Citizen Account Program

Who’s Who: Sultan Al-Qahtani, spokesperson of KSA’s Citizen Account Program

Sultan Al-Qahtani has been the spokesman and communication general manager of the Citizen Account Program since 2018.

Al-Qahtani, who received a bachelor’s degree in English translation from King Khalid University (KKU) in 2007, is an ambassador of the Charity Orphans Care Foundation (Ekhaa).

His KSA Awla initiative, which he started in 2010, has succeeded in helping thousands of young men and young women find suitable jobs. Moreover, he is a member of the Saudi Media National Association since 2020. 

After graduation from KKU, Al-Qahtani joined King Abdul Aziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba), where he worked as a creativity prize administrator for nearly 16 months.

During the same period, he served at the leading mobile service provider, Zain KSA, as a marketing administrator for 10 months and as an application supervisor for five months. He also led Zain’s public relations team for more than a year.

For four months, Al-Qahtani worked for the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) as a media and public relations officer.

In October 2012, he started a new job with the Saudi mining firm Maaden, where he provided protocol support to the company’s president in regard to his visits, conferences, tours, and social functions. In December 2013 he moved to SAP, a producer of software for the management of business processes, where he managed marketing events and social media activities in Saudi Arabia.

In April 2017, Al-Qahtani joined the General Entertainment Authority, where he was the media relations manager for nearly a year before moving to the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monsha’at), where he administered its communication department for six months.


Worshippers at Two Holy Mosques thoroughly screened from coronavirus disease

Worshippers at Two Holy Mosques thoroughly screened from coronavirus disease
Updated 48 min 44 sec ago

Worshippers at Two Holy Mosques thoroughly screened from coronavirus disease

Worshippers at Two Holy Mosques thoroughly screened from coronavirus disease

MAKKAH: Worshippers deemed resistant to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) attended the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah to perform Friday prayers.

All those taking part in worship were required to show Tawakkalna app proof of immunity to the virus and follow strict health and safety protocols.

Entry was allowed for people who had received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, those where 14 days had passed since their first jab, and individuals who had recovered after contracting the virus.

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has stepped up cleaning operations to 10 sessions a day at the Grand Mosque.


Saudi, Palestinian Authority foreign ministers hold call

Saudi, Palestinian Authority foreign ministers hold call
Updated 14 May 2021

Saudi, Palestinian Authority foreign ministers hold call

Saudi, Palestinian Authority foreign ministers hold call
  • Prince Faisal bin Farhan affirmed the Kingdom's condemnation of illegal practices carried out by Israeli authorities

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister spoke to the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riyad Al-Maliki on the phone on Friday.

During the call, Prince Faisal bin Farhan affirmed the Kingdom's condemnation of illegal practices carried out by Israeli authorities, and the need to immediately stop the country's escalatory actions that violate all international norms and conventions.

Prince Faisal called for the completion of efforts aimed at finding a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue which would enable the Palestinian people to establish an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and in accordance with international legitimacy decisions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

Meanwhile, Jordan’s foreign minister said he had discussed with Prince Faisal targeted efforts to “stop the Israeli aggression on Gaza and the attacks in Jerusalem and the rest of the Palestinian territories,” as a means of ending the current escalation.

“Occupation is the basis of the conflict, and launching an effective political movement to end it is a priority that we are working on with our brothers and partners,” Ayman Safadi tweeted.

Safadi also spoke to his Omani and Egyptian counterparts regarding the escalation in “occupied Palestinian Territories.”

Prince Faisal also received a phone call from Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi during which the two ministers discussed the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The foreign minister also discussed the conflict between Gaza and Israel with his Sudanese counterpart Mariam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi.


Saudi Arabia steps up inspection tours for virus violations

Saudi Arabia steps up inspection tours for virus violations
Updated 21 min 50 sec ago

Saudi Arabia steps up inspection tours for virus violations

Saudi Arabia steps up inspection tours for virus violations
  • Health Ministry reports 927 new cases, 1,608 recoveries, 12 deaths
  • A total of 7,134 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

JEDDAH: Jeddah municipality is working with the Saudi authorities to intensify its field inspection tours on the waterfront during the first days of Eid Al-Fitr to check for violations of the precautionary measures against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The municipality teams carried out 180 inspection tours that detected 69 violations and closing nine sites.

The municipality has put in place field plans to cover the North Corniche, Saif Beach, the Palestine Street Promenade and the Central Corniche, using the necessary equipment to clean the sites at regular intervals, in addition to carrying out intensive sanitization campaigns in seating areas, children’s playgrounds and disinfecting waste containers.

It stressed that it will step up joint field efforts with relevant authorities in the markets, waterfronts and public facilities to follow up on compliance with health preventive measures to control the spread of the virus, especially during the Eid days that are witnessing large turnouts of visitors.

The municipality urged people to comply with precautionary procedures and report any violations on the toll-free number 940 or the “Balady” mobile app.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia reported 12 more COVID-19-related deaths on Friday. The death toll now stands at 7,134.

The Ministry of Health reported 927 new cases, meaning that 431,432 people have now contracted the disease. Of these, 8,551 remain active, 1,323 of them in critical condition.

According to the ministry, 265 of the newly recorded cases were in Riyadh, 262 in Makkah, 128 in the Eastern Province and 69 in Madinah.

In addition, 1,608 patients had recovered from the disease, bringing the total to 415,747 recoveries.

Saudi Arabia has so far conducted 17,868,871 PCR tests, with 56,495 carried out in the past 24 hours.

Saudi health clinics set up by the ministry as testing hubs or treatment centers have helped hundreds of thousands of people around the Kingdom since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Among those testing hubs are Taakad (make sure) centers and Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.

Taakad centers provide COVID-19 testing for those who show no or mild symptoms or believe they have come into contact with an infected individual, while the Tetamman clinics offer treatment and advice to those with virus symptoms, such as fever, loss of taste and smell and breathing difficulties.

Appointments for either services can also be made through the ministry’s Sehhaty app.

Saudis and expats in the Kingdom continue to receive their COVID-19 jabs, with 11,253,029 people inoculated so far.