Cut­ting edge hol­i­days

Friday - - Editor's Letter -

W hat’s the ul­ti­mate hol­i­day must-do in Dubai? A visit to Burj Al Arab, dune bash­ing and cruis­ing down the Creek in a dhow are top of most lists, along with trips to the beach and the malls. Now you can add a visit to the plas­tic sur­geon’s of­fice for a smaller nose, fuller pout or nip-and-tucked body to the itin­er­ary as med­i­cal tourism takes off in the UAE.

Dubai played host to just un­der 10 mil­lion vis­i­tors last year and au­thor­i­ties are set to see one mil­lion med­i­cal tourists added to that an­nual fig­ure by 2020. So as our re­port on page 16 re­veals, we will have to get used to see­ing women – and men – swathed in ban­dages on the sun loungers next to us, or tak­ing the lift to the top of Burj Khal­ifa.

Surgeons from the UAE are them­selves trav­el­ling abroad – on mercy mis­sions to give ba­bies and chil­dren with cleft lips and palates the gift of a smile. While these chil­dren are bul­lied or os­tracised for their looks, they are also of­ten un­able to feed or speak be­cause of their de­for­mi­ties. That’s why it is so im­por­tant for these mis­sions – many of which are spon­sored en­tirely by the UAE – to carry out cor­rec­tive surgery and see the lives, not just the faces, of these chil­dren changed for the bet­ter. Let me know what you think. Un­til next week,

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