US healthcare giant Cigna Corporation, has opened its regional management office for the Middle East and North Africa markets at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), in a bid to take advantage of the lucrative Middle East marketplace.
The new office, puts Cigna, a Fortune 100 global health insurance and service company, in what it calls “a prime position” to deliver its products in the UAE and the wider Middle East region for locals and international expats alike.
Howard Gough, chief executive officer of Cigna for the MENA Region and GIPMI, will be supported by Jai Verma, the Global B2G Segment Lead, in leading Cigna’s team at DIFC to offer management assistance and specialist services to its regulated entities across the GCC, the company said in statement announcing the move.
Arif Amiri, chief executive of DIFC Authority, said that with the healthcare industry in the GCC region projected to grow to US$71.3bn by 2020, the opening of Cigna’s new regional management office is “well-timed”
“We look forward to enabling Cigna to achieve its growth objectives across the region, with the support of our robust legal and regulatory framework that meets the requirements of global insurance companies,” Amiri said.
Jason Sadler, president of Cigna International Markets, said: “The UAE offers a strategic edge for global businesses with its advanced regulatory environment, unparalleled connectivity and access to several high-growth markets. At Cigna, we recognise the long-term value this creates for our business and the people we serve.
“Moreover, we see this as a valuable opportunity to enhance our presence in the Middle East and Africa region, which represents a crucial element in our global growth strategy. We are pleased to work with the DIFC in supporting Cigna’s ambitious plans in this exciting region.”
Cigna has been present in the region for over 15 years, but this is the first time that is has deployed a dedicated on the ground headquarters.
As reported, the provision of medical health insurance in the region became mandatory for all Dubai citizens and expats, earlier this year. As a result, healthcare giants are eyeing the marketplace with a renewed interest.
Other regions, such as Kuwait are also introducing measures that will force expats to transact healthcare policies. As reported, a hike in medical fees for expats of more than 500% on some cases was introduced into Kuwait’s national cover costs, earlier this year.