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What we learned during our 6th year at the Middle East's largest healthcare gathering

Another Arab Health came and went, and we’re reflecting on this past week in Dubai.

DIRTT joined our Partner NMG for the Middle East’s largest annual healthcare exhibition to kick off the new year. Designed to shed light on the latest innovations in healthcare facilities, this action-packed event is the perfect opportunity for DIRTT to demonstrate the efficiencies our smart construction brings to the medical world.  

Here are the top takeaways from DIRTT and NMG’s Arab Health build and display at this year’s expo:


Incredible Speed

If you followed DIRTT’s social media accounts throughout the Arab Health build, this highlight is obvious. In just 55 hours, the DIRTT and NMG team was able to build out a high-tech, two-story medical facility – complete with an ICU room, pediatric patient room, nurse station, meeting area, and fully-functioning virtual reality lab. In fact, the entire timber structure was constructed in a mere six hours. When walking through the completed 3600 sq. ft. medical space, it’s hard to believe something with such a high-quality fit and finish could be produced so fast.

A quick recap of the build
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A room in the completed display A room in the completed display

How is this possible? DIRTT’s prefabricated approach to healthcare construction makes accelerated speed a reality for any healthcare facility. Building components are manufactured in our factories and arrive on site ready for a speedy install. As a result, spaces are built in a fraction of the time.

Why is speed so significant in the world of healthcare? It really is simple: time equals money. The sooner healthcare facilities are built, the sooner their doors are open to service patients. If you’re in the private sector, this often means you’re generating revenue months sooner than if you took a conventional construction route. Every day your project runs over schedule – which is a fair bet if you’re building conventionally – the more it harms your bottom line. And we aren’t talking pennies.

Here’s an example: privatized healthcare in the US sees an average patient room generate $2,000-$10,000 per day. If you have a 30-room hospital wing, the daily revenue for this space could total $60,000-$300,000. Multiply $60,000-$300,000 by the number of days you save on your schedule, thanks to our manufactured approach, and the numbers speak for themselves! 30 days = 1.8-9 million dollars. Do we have your attention?

Clean construction

Year after year, one thing remains consistent during the Arab Health build: no other booths' cleanliness compares to that of DIRTT and NMG’s construction zone. While others are cutting, mudding, sawing, sanding, painting, etc. at their booths in preparation for the show, DIRTT components arrive ready for a tilt-up, clean install. Thanks to our ICE technology, DIRTT healthcare spaces are manufactured to exact specifications with extreme precision. Finishes come already applied and the pre-engineered solutions arrive with electrical, insulation and med gases already in place.

No messy work on site and other trades can be more efficient with their time too. They can work as needed without waiting for phases to be completed. You’ll also save on the cost and time of cleaning up drywall dust and other debris that comes along with a chaotic conventional construction zone.

The clean site as tiles go in The clean site as tiles go in
Clean install as the frames go in Clean install as the frames go in
The clean site after timber's installed The clean site after timber's installed

It should be noted that this clean construction goes beyond the initial build. DIRTT-built healthcare spaces also mean ongoing maintenance and upgrades are painless and mess free. Thanks to the modularity of DIRTT, any DIRTT component can easily adjust to meet changing needs. Shrinking the amount of time your facility is off limits throughout your space’s lifespan. Why would you want to build any other way?


How can a space be manufactured in North America and shipped to Dubai with no concern that the components will fit together perfectly? We can sit back and relax knowing that DIRTT’s ICE software, which feeds our factory floors, manufactures our spaces with exact precision.

It’s the same software we use to walk our clients through their spaces before they’ve been built. They can come into their space as a group in virtual reality, and collaborate on their design, making real-time changes to their 3D design file. It gives them complete design certainty and the confidence to sign-off on their projects. We showcased this ICEreality experience during this year's show, allowing our Arab Health booth visitors to see the interior of a huge (virtual) DIRTT healthcare facility. By going virtual, our healthcare display was extended by thousands and thousands of square feet. 

We also revealed a new tech breakthrough at the Arab Health expo, demonstrating how we can use our ICEreality technology to remove barriers of physical space and connect people in a virtual mockup from around the globe. We’re excited to use this technology to breakdown barriers for our clients and make the experience of designing with DIRTT that much better.

Arab Health attendees in the ICEreality experience Arab Health attendees in the ICEreality experience


Construction waste accounts for 40% of US landfills. It’s a problem we can’t ignore. So at DIRTT, we don’t! We look at the full lifecycle of an interior space. We see the Arab Health booths around ours torn down and tossed in a landfill after the four-day show. But we’re working to break this cycle of building, tearing down, throwing away, and building again. 

The DIRTT difference? At the end of each Arab Health show, we disassemble our booth and store almost all of the parts and pieces for reuse the following year. In fact – we’ve used the main components of this booth for the past three years. How is this possible? DIRTT interior solutions are made for flexibility and adaptability. While the other exhibitors are taking loads of torn-out drywall to the landfill, we can take pride in knowing our method doesn't have this negative impact on our planet. Construction and sustainability can go hand-in-hand!

Other booths during the tear down Other booths during the tear down
DIRTT's tear down for reuse DIRTT's tear down for reuse

So, there you have it! These key differences show why the DIRTT approach is so different. They are just some of the reasons our construction method is a no-brainer for healthcare environments. Need more convincing? Browse some of our healthcare projects. After all, we have over 2500 medical projects under our belt.


DIRTT Environmental Solutions uses its 3D software to create prefabricated interiors. Each space is tailored to our clients' needs. Manufacturing facilities are located in Phoenix, Savannah and Calgary. DIRTT works with nearly 100 construction partners globally. DIRTT trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "DRT".