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Different Types of Medical Insurance Available in Dubai

Different Types of Medical Insurance Available in Dubai | Dhanguard

You've already narrowed down your preferred Arab Emirate if you're moving to Dubai. You may not, however, have whittled down your healthcare options over there.

Healthcare in the United Arab Emirates is generally good, and Dubai is no exception. We'll tell you everything you need to know about it on this page, including how the healthcare system works and how much health insurance costs on average.

Is it Necessary to get Private Health Insurance in Dubai?

In a nutshell, unless you're an Emirati national, you'll require private medical insurance in Dubai. Your employer is required by law to offer you with basic health insurance in Dubai, but none of your dependents are (e.g. spouse, children, parents). Every Dubai resident is required by law to have some type of private medical insurance.

If you're bringing family to Dubai with you and/or your employer isn't providing you with what you consider acceptable coverage, it's a good idea to get some private medical insurance.

Dhanguard will find you a plan that meets your needs, with four levels of annual coverage to pick from and optional modules for added flexibility.

Start constructing a customized plan to safeguard your most valuable assets — you and your family – with a free estimate.

What is the UAE's Health-Care System?

The United Arab Emirates offers a combination of public and private healthcare, although it is far from 50/50. While each Arab Emirate has its own ratio, Dubai's is the most extreme: health services are provided by 20% public and 80% private, according to a 2018 study from the Dubai Health Authority.

Did you Know?

Emirati people are the primary users of Dubai's public healthcare, which is provided free of charge (or at a very low cost, depending on the treatment). Emergency care, visits with GPs and specialists, diagnostic testing, physiotherapy, prescription medicine, and maternity care are all examples of public services. Meanwhile, dental, ear, and eye care are often not included in public programmes.

Expats can use the public transportation system as well, although the services are not free. To begin, you'll need to obtain a Ministry of Health card, which you can apply for online.

It's a good idea to apply for a health card because there may be therapies that your private medical insurance won't cover and that you can only get through the government system.

However, there are several strong reasons why you should not use Dubai's public healthcare system as your first port of call as an expat:

  • They're made to serve the local community, thus they're not particularly user-friendly for visitors (e.g. not many English-speaking physicians)
  • They are always in high demand, which can lead to overcrowding in institutions.
  • In Dubai, expats are required to obtain private medical coverage, and private medical facilities are often of greater quality than state medical facilities.

Here's how major areas of healthcare in Dubai may differ from what you're used to at home.

What is Primary Care?

In Dubai, having the same doctor for your entire family, from your children to your elderly relatives, is fairly usual. You arrange an appointment with your 'family doctor' whenever one of you has a medical problem, and he or she becomes familiar with your entire family's medical history (in theory). If your child falls ill, you will usually be able to see them without making an appointment.

Medical Assistance in case of Emergency

Importantly, public hospitals in Dubai give free emergency care to everyone in need, regardless of whether or not they have a health card. People who don't have cards are given temporary ones when they arrive, so that's taken care of. The majority of Dubai residents who have medical crises are sent to Rashid Hospital.

Prenatal and Postnatal Care

First and foremost, in order to give birth in the UAE, you must be married - else, you will be in serious problems. A wedding certificate is required before you may give birth at a hospital. There's no hiding, either, because home births are prohibited.

If you want to start a family in Dubai, keep in mind that you won't necessarily be generating a new UAE citizen. Only if one of the parents is a UAE citizen is a newborn expat regarded a citizen.

Care from a Specialist

Unlike in the United Kingdom, where only those with private health insurance can see experts right away, in Dubai you don't need a doctor's reference to see any specialist. You can arrange an appointment with a specialist at any public or private facility. However, it is still normal practice to seek expert advice from your 'family doctor.'

Dental Care

Unless you were born with godly teeth, it is critical that you obtain dental coverage in Dubai. Dental treatment in the UAE is highly expensive, so make sure it's covered by your health insurance.

Prescription Drugs

Prescription medications are strictly regulated in Dubai. Many drugs that are available in the United Kingdom are prohibited or limited in Dubai. Please keep in mind that if you're moving to Dubai and need prescription medication, you can only bring three months' worth. If you go above this limit, you risk being arrested and imprisoned.

So, is Healthcare in Dubai Free?

Given that residents of Dubai do not pay any income tax, Dubai's public healthcare is about as free as it gets. For Emirati natives, the majority of services provided by Dubai's public healthcare system are free (or at a very low cost).

However, foreigners must pay to access Dubai's public healthcare facilities, and fees for non-nationals are much higher. They must also pay for a health card, which costs 320 dirhams (AED) for those above the age of ten and 120 AED for those under the age of ten. You can apply for the card either online or in person at a medical centre.

Is it Necessary to get Health Insurance in Dubai?

Yes, health insurance is required for all residents of Dubai, regardless of employment status. If you want a residency visa, you won't be able to receive one unless you have private medical insurance.

Every uninsured month carries a fee of 500 AED, and monthly health insurance premiums are almost always less expensive than the penalty (not to mention much more sensible).

If you're moving to Dubai for work, your company is required by law to provide medical coverage. Employers are also encouraged to cover their employees' dependents (spouses, children, elderly relatives), but not all do so.

If you want more comprehensive coverage than your employer provides, or if you need to get health insurance for your family, we urge that you do so before you leave. Similarly, if you're retiring to Dubai, you'll need health insurance because you won't have a job to cover you.

In Dubai, what will Private Health Insurance Cover?

There are also basic standards that all private medical insurance policies must meet as part of Dubai's regulations. All policies must include the following:

  • AED 150,000 is the minimum annual limit.
  • All emirates have emergency coverage.
  • After a six-month waiting period, coverage for pre-existing conditions is available.
  • Inpatient treatment with a maximum excess of 20% (or 'co-pay') of 1,000 AED per year.
  • Treatment in the outpatient setting with a maximum excess of 20%
  • Accommodation in a semi-private hospital
  • Minimum 7,000 AED maternity coverage, with a maximum 10% excess, and up to 10,000 AED coverage for a required C-section.

The Essential Benefits Program (EBP)

There is also a plan in place for low-income people. The Vital Benefits Plan (EBP) is a joint venture between the Dubai government and a small number of medical insurance companies that provide essential benefits to Dubai citizens at reasonable pricing. Premiums typically vary from 650 AED to 725 AED per year.

All policies that fall under the EBP, like all other medical insurance policies in Dubai, must meet the minimal standards specified above.

If you have domestic help (cooks, nannies, or drivers) who make less than 4,000 AED per month, you must insure them under the EBP.

In Dubai, who is qualified for free healthcare?

Emirati nationals have access to Dubai's public healthcare services for free (or at a very cheap fee). Expats in Dubai can use public healthcare, but they must first get a health card and then pay a charge each time they use it.

Is Health Insurance Required for Visitors to Dubai?

You are not legally required to carry any type of medical coverage or travel insurance if you are simply visiting Dubai as a tourist. However, you won't be able to get any therapy for free while you're there, so unless you're willing to take a huge risk, you should get some insurance in place.

In Dubai, the cost of family medical insurance is

According to Pacific Prime, the average yearly cost of health insurance in Dubai for a family is AED 11,836. If you're only going there as a couple, you should expect to pay roughly AED9,889 per year for a shared coverage.

Why is Dubai's Healthcare so Expensive?

We have some explaining to do if those figures have left you speechless.

The grade of healthcare in Dubai is quite good, which means that doctors are well-trained, equipment is often cutting-edge, and facilities are pleasant and spotless. There's a reason Dubai has become one of the world's "medical tourism" hotspots.

Furthermore, costs have naturally increased as a result of the 2015 legal reform prohibiting’


Hopefully, you now have a much better understanding of healthcare in the UAE and the ins and outs of Dubai health insurance. Connect with Dhanguard to discover more about your destination.


Frequently Asked Questions

Patients are communicated to tell their physicians all about their medical history in order to get the best care, and health insurance policyholders are asked to tell their provider all about their pre-existing conditions in order to get the best coverage. Furthermore, if there are any inconsistencies in the medical insurance policy, the insurance company can cancel the policy.

The regional limit to which a health insurance policy's benefits are available is referred to as the scope of coverage. For example, in the UAE, health insurance with a definition of ‘Within the UAE' would only compensate policyholders for medical services received in the UAE.

Family policies undeniably deliver some of the best coverage at the most affordable prices, making them one of the most cost-effective health insurance choices in the UAE. Even family health insurance policies, however, have their own limitations, such as a limited number of dependents and other constraints. When applying for a job, it is suggested that applicants spend some time reviewing the different inclusions and exclusions.

Medical insurance Policy for females are expensive because of the pregnancy related costs that occurs to the insurance companies. Whereas policy for female aged below 40 is too expensive compared to female aged above 40.

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