Last week, an interesting picture of falcons in an aircraft cabin was shared widely online.
As with all content that goes viral, the spinoffs from the picture were hilarious and clever: “Saudi prince brings 80 hawks on plane,” “Raptors on board,” “Magnificent birds of prey take flight.”
The picture was not that strange, considering the appetite for exotic pets in the Middle East region.
Before the falcons, there was a picture of an Emirati man and his cheetah taking a drive in a luxury car.
Falconry is a traditional hobby for the rich in the Middle East, and most if not all carriers in that region accept their transportation in the cabin if the paperwork meets their requirements.
Forecasts for the global medical tourism market predict a growth of at least 18 per cent over the next decade, to reach about $99 billion by 2025.
Per these reports, some of the leading global medical tourism destinations are Singapore, Thailand, India, Malaysia, Taiwan, Mexico and Costa Rica, with Thailand and India taking the lead in having the largest number of accredited medical facilities.
India, which is listed as a top destination for Africans seeking treatment overseas, is poised to more than double its medical tourism market from the current $3 billion to over $8 billion by 2020.
Just to bring it closer home, by 2015 East Africans were spending about $1 billon on medical treatment in India.
I have never seen a child on a leash. So you can imagine what crossed my mind when I saw this kid, hardly three years old, on a “child leash” aboard an aircraft.
The kid on the leash was dishing out terror in the aisle with ease, only limited by the restraint.
At the other end of the leash was a bloodshot-eyed middle aged male who appeared beat. He looked like he was about to give up on life itself.