When Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late president of the United Arab Emirates, decided to travel to Minnesota in 1996 to undergo neck surgery at the Mayo Clinic, he did so because he was seeking quality health care he couldn't find at home.
Less than 10 years later, the Mayo Clinic–one of the world's best known names in medicine–set up its first clinic abroad, in the U.A.E.'s emirate of Dubai. But on Thursday boxes were being taped up and the clinic was closing its doors in Dubai Healthcare City, a $5.3 billion health-care free zone that is facing delays as the emirate struggles financially.
"In the Mayo Clinic's over 100 years of service, we've never been outside the U.S. So (coming here) was a big step," Dr. Taysir Khatib, the Mayo Clinic's regional office manager for the Middle East, said in his office at Dubai Healthcare City, his hallway littered with boxes.
Wall Street Journal, by Maria Abi-Habib, 1/26/2010
Additional coverage: Maktoob Business