Ultimate Guide to Health Insurance and Healthcare in the UAE

Don’t gamble with your health, get the right cover at the right price.

AED 1 million Health cover starting @4/Day
Selecting health insurance for
  • Self/Family
  • Domestic Workers
  • Investor
Health Insurance



Worldwide Coverage
Wide Choices
Expert Advice

The above plans and premiums are for AED 1,000,000 Sum insured for 1 Adult of 30 Years for Dubai city.

The UAE is famously known for the quality of its healthcare facilities, which have also contributed to the rise of medical tourism in the past decade. Healthcare in the region is so established that there are about 181 doctors for every 100,000 residents.

However, while expats can take advantage of the high medical standards in the UAE, the healthcare of the non-residents often comes at a higher price as compared to what it is for the UAE nationals.

But, before you relocate, there are a few things you should know. One of the first things to know what the healthcare system along with health insurance is like in the Gulf country. The expats will be relieved to know that when they are moving to the UAE, the healthcare quality is one thing they do not need to worry about even slightly.

The UAE has a very well developed health infrastructure with the standard of the same being very high. The medical facilities in the region are modern and are easily accessible for both the expats and the nationals. The private, as well as the public hospitals, offer the people premium healthcare.

But, many expats prefer going to private care facilities, where the commonly spoken language is English and most of the staff is foreign-trained.

When we talk about the cost aspect of these services, they are definitely expensive. But, at the same time, you get what you are paying for. For UAE nationals, the public hospitals, as well as the clinics, are low cost. But, the expast must pay a fee and they can only gain access to the public hospitals if they are holding a health card. Finding a doctor in the region is largely done with the help of the online portals.

With the modern equipment along with the highly-skilled team of surgeons and doctors from all across the globe, you can be assured that your medical needs in this country are sure to be well taken care of. As you move to prepare for your journey in the desert country, make use of this guide that will help you answer questions about health care and best health insurance in uae.

Overview: Healthcare in the UAE

The region consists of a comprehensive healthcare system that is funded by the government along with a private sector that is rapidly developing and also delivering a high standard of the services. Healthcare in UAE is regulated both at the Federal and at the Emirate level.

The system for healthcare in the UAE varies from one Emirate to another, but the car one receives throughout the country is unmatched. Expats can make use of both private and public facilities. However, the UAE nationals receive public services at hospitals and clinics at a low cost (sometimes may be free) but the expats are required to pay a fee for the same.

Facts About UAE Healthcare

  1. Out of all the 7 emirates, Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the ones that attract most of the expats. Which makes the healthcare in these emirates of high quality. Dubai is specifically known for the high standard of medical procedures and great facilities. People from all across the globe come to Dubai for treatment, which has led to a travel trend that is called medical tourism.
  2. The most sought after health and medical services are dermatology, ophthalmology, and orthopedic. Dubai is popularly known for dental, fertility, and cosmetic treatments.
  3. In Abu Dhabi, it is compulsory for your company to provide health insurance coverage for you along with your dependents. The beneficiaries include your spouse and up to 3 children aged under 18. 4th child onwards, the employee is responsible for the coverage.
  4. In Dubai, companies are only required to provide health coverage for the employees. It is, however, recommended by the government of Dubai for them to provide health insurance coverage for the family of the employee also as it is compulsory by law to hold a health insurance policy.
  5. Regardless of whether you are employed or not, it is mandatory by law for all residents of Abu Dhabi and Dubai to hold health insurance. There is a fine charged for each uninsured month. The residency visas can't be issued without providing valid proof of health insurance, so this problem is not likely to be faced easily by the expats.
  6. In the northern emirates of Ras Al-Khaimah, Ajman, Fujairah, Umm Al-Quwain, and Sharjah, it's not mandatory by law for the employers to provide their employees with health insurance coverage.

If you are working with a company that does not provide you with a health insurance policy, or if the policy that is provided does not cover your dependents, then you will have to be the one to sponsor the coverage.

The extent of any health insurance coverage provided by your employer will be determined by your salary as well as your designation. The extent of your policy and the type of the same will determine what your cost is for the medical services.

Pros and Cons Of The UAE Healthcare Services

Pros Cons
Medical Care of High Quality It is slightly expensive
Innovative Technology People who do not speak either Arab or English can find themselves struggling to find a professional that is easy to communicate with
English is the majorly spoken language when it comes to private healthcare facilities Public health services are not as expensive, but also have a longer waiting time
Private services often have very little or no wait time  

Why Is Healthcare Expensive in the UAE?

Healthcare services in the UAE are expenses for numerous reasons. The first reason would be the expats residing in the country – the population of this region is made up of an overwhelming number of expats that exceed the number of Emiratis. Due to this, there are more private healthcare facilities as compared to public facilities.

Another reason leading contributing to the higher costs is that the residents often give up visiting the general practitioner and directly see the specialists instead. This adds up to higher prices as this involves a lot of tests as well as consultations.

Lastly, healthcare is expensive because you actually get what you pay for. UAE is known for its high-trained experts, modern equipment, and innovative research.

Overview: Health Insurance in the UAE

For the main reason of health insurance being compulsory in the UAE by law, you are required to know how health insurance works throughout the Gulf country. If you are employed by an employer that does not offer you health coverage, you will also need to know how to obtain health insurance in UAE and the costs associated with it.

Although the private health policies throughout the country are costly, the care that is provided is of great quality. The health policies generally offer broad coverage for various treatments and services.

Do You Need Health Insurance in the UAE?

Yes, you can’t obtain a residency visa in the UAE without proof of your health insurance policy. Unlike the UAE nationals, expats need to pay for both the public and private health insurance.

Emirate Health Coverage

Abu Dhabi

The employers in this emirate are required to provide health coverage for the employees along with four dependents – 1 spouse and up to 3 children aged below 18.

Expats with 4 or more children are required to take cover on their own.


Employees are required to be covered by their employers. However, the coverage for their dependents is not required.

Sharjah & Nothern Emirates

Employers do not need to provide any health insurance for their employees.

Types of Health Insurance Plans

The health insurance policies in the UAE are quite standard. Most of the private providers offer 4 main types of plans to cover all the people from a single expat to an entire relocated family:

  • Individual Policies: These are for a single individual or a group of family members that are looking for comprehensive medical cover in the UAE.
  • Family Policy: These provide great coverage along with family discounts.
  • Group Policies: These plans offer significant discounts on the policies along with other benefits that are available for plans with more than twenty members.
  • Traveler Policies: These are policies for individuals as well as groups who frequently visit the UAE. They are designed to offer high flexibility and can be customized as per the travel itinerary.

 The Bottom Line

UAE has great healthcare services as well as a good health insurance segment that provides services that are worth the expenses. Most companies based in the UAE provide health insurance as part of the salary package offered to the employees. However, this is not the same for every scenario and you may be required to purchase coverage for yourself and your dependents.

More From Health Insurance