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Healthcare in Dubai

In the UAE, you will find clinics, public and private hospitals, and primary health care centers. In Dubai, more specifically, the healthcare system has high standards and offers modern facilities. Whether you use the public or private healthcare network, you can be sure that your medical needs will be met. Healthcare workers come from different parts of the world and can give you the best possible care.

How does the health system work in Dubai?

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) manages both the public and private sectors

To access public hospitals, you will need your health card, which you will need to obtain when you arrive in the UAE. You can apply online at the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) or by visiting any of the primary health care centers. You will be asked to show two passport-sized photos of you, a proof of employment, a copy of your valid passport, in addition to your Emirates ID card (which you will get once you get your residence visa). The health card fee is AED 320 for people over 18 and AED 120 for people 10 and under.

Most expats prefer the private healthcare system, as it offers them a wide range of medical services. However, you may want to have your health card handy in any case. Most companies include a complete healthcare package with a job offer, so be sure to check your offer.

Mandatory medical insurance

Since 2015, all foreign citizens living in Dubai have to subscribe to a minimum health insurance through the Dubai Health Authority (DHA). This measure aims to eliminate inequalities in the local health system.

This mandatory medical insurance provides emergency coverage, in addition to visits to the GP, basic and comprehensive check-ups and prescription drugs. It also applies to physical therapy, maternity follow-ups and surgeries. Check with your employer about this. If you have home help, drivers or babysitters, you will also be responsible for their health insurance.

Private health insurance in Dubai

As an alternative to compulsory health insurance, it is a good idea to subscribe to private international health insurance for optimal coverage. Some of the main health insurance providers are:
  1. Allianz Care
  2. Cigna Global

Consider taking a look at their offers according to your needs and get a free quote on the Dubai Expat Health Insurance page.

Dubai Healthcare City

In Dubai, the government's strategy is to attract visitors to the United Arab Emirates for health and medical services. Dubai Healthcare City was established in 2002 and is the largest healthcare free zone in the world. The second phase of the project is still under construction and is expected to welcome wealthy locals, expats and tourists alike for premium healthcare services. This is also why both locals and expats do not have to travel outside of the UAE to seek premium medical care abroad, as is the case in Europe.

Dubai is home to world-class hospitals that provide high-quality medical care. Some prescription drugs are prohibited in Dubai. Check with the UAE Ministry of Health before moving to Dubai.

To obtain an entry visa to Dubai, you need to prove that the employer has already completed the formalities related to the mandatory health insurance.

If you do not work for a company, you must apply for a health card at the Department of Public Health Services. The health card is valid for one year and is renewable.