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Diabetes cases in the MENA region to increase to over 135 million by 2045

  • According to the International Diabetes Federation, more than 73 million people in the MENA region live with the disease; by 2045, this figure is expected to rise to 135.7 million

  • Unhealthy eating patterns due to increased income and urbanisation, lack of physical activity, and less emphasis on nutritional education are factors driving diabetes in the region

  • Experts at the inaugural Internal Medicine Conference at Arab Health 2023 are expected to outline the need for greater education and awareness to manage the condition

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 14 November 2022: The growing prevalence of diabetes in the UAE and the broader Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will be addressed by world-renowned industry experts at the Internal Medicine Conference, which takes place from 30- 31 January as part of the 2023 Arab Health Congress.

World Diabetes Day, which takes place today, Monday 14 November, draws attention to the critical figures from the International Diabetes Federation, which shows that more than 1 million people currently have diabetes in the UAE. This figure rises to 73 million for the MENA region and is expected to increase by 87% to 135.7 million by 2045. This will significantly impact mortality and GDP due to productivity loss and increased healthcare expenditure.

Factors contributing to the diabetes epidemic in the MENA region include unhealthy eating patterns due to increased income and urbanisation, lack of physical activity, less emphasis on nutritional education and increased consumption of sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Ross Williams, Exhibition Director for Informa Markets, said: “The theme for this year’s World Diabetes Day is ‘education to protect tomorrow’. At Arab Health, we support this by providing a platform for some of the most informed minds to discuss how we address the region’s growing diabetes issues as the negative economic, and societal impact of the condition continues to be a cause for concern.

As part of the newly launched Internal Medicine Conference at Arab Health, we will have dedicated sessions designed to bring together stakeholders who are at the forefront of this issue, from government representatives to leading experts in the field of diabetes, each providing an insight into the immediate steps required to slow the growing number of diabetes cases in the region.”

The Internal Medicine Conference will host a range of sessions, including the evolution of diabetes management moderated by Dr Farooqi, Director and Consultant Endocrinologist, Dubai Diabetes Center, Dubai Health Authority. Panellists include Dr Saf Naqvi, Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, Abu Dhabi; Dr Saria Gouher, American Hospital Dubai; and Dr Hammad Hussain, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. Topics to be addressed include the management of diabetes, endocrinologists’ views on steroid therapy and the severe complication of diabetes and diabetic ketoacidosis.

In addition to the Internal Medicine Conference, a further nine Continuing Medical Education (CME) conferences will take place during the four days of Arab Health 2023, returning to the Dubai World Trade Centre from 30 January – 2 February under the theme of Innovation and Sustainability in Healthcare, welcoming an anticipated 3,200 delegates and 550 international speakers.

The exhibition will feature over 3,000 exhibitor companies from 70 countries and include nine product sectors, showcasing the latest technology and innovations in disposables, orthopaedics, healthcare and general services, imaging, medical devices, IT, wellness and prevention, and infrastructure and assets.

Rounding out the product sectors is the Transformation Zone, which will include start-ups and innovators introducing their latest products; leading healthcare experts giving keynote presentations as part of the Transformation Talks; the Product Showcase area; and the popular Innov8 Talks, which will provide start-ups and entrepreneurs from around the world with the opportunity to present their healthcare innovations to a panel of industry experts and potential investors.

Also included is a new feature for Arab Health 2023 – the Intelligent Health Pavilion, which will allow visitors to experience live demonstrations of the most innovative and sustainable healthcare technologies across collaborating vendors to improve the overall patient care environment.

The event is supported by a host of government entities, including the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention, the Government of Dubai, the Dubai Health Authority, the Department of Health, and the Dubai Healthcare City Authority.

For more information or to register for the event, please visit \


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