Press enter to see results or esc to cancel.

Healthcare and Health Insurance in Dubai for Expats

All residents, including expats, are required to have medical insurance, with employers responsible for providing health insurance for their employees. The Dubai Health Authority oversees both public and private healthcare, ensuring that standards are upheld and patients receive the care they need.

Discover the world's top health insurers.
Compare quotes with a click of the button.

When it comes to healthcare, most expats in Dubai choose private healthcare, primarily due to the convenient access to international healthcare providers. Additionally, having international health insurance is recommended to cover any unexpected medical expenses and ensure comprehensive coverage. 

By understanding the healthcare system and securing the necessary health insurance coverage, you can ensure that you and your loved ones receive the best healthcare possible during your time in Dubai. This Pacific Prime Dubai article will get you up to speed on what you should know. 

Corporate quote CTA

How Healthcare is Structured in Dubai

Dubai's Burj Khalifa Lake View

Under the Dubai Health Authority, Dubai’s healthcare system includes public and private healthcare, wherein public healthcare offers world-class facilities and private healthcare offers quick access to the best doctors for diverse conditions. 

Under the DHA’s supervision, four public hospitals in Dubai provide comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services. These hospitals are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and staffed by highly skilled healthcare practitioners.

Additionally, there are over 130 private health facilities in the emirate, catering to the diverse needs of the population. These private facilities range from standard clinics to luxury hospitals, ensuring that residents and expats have access to a variety of services.

Both public and private healthcare facilities in Dubai maintain high standards of care. The healthcare practitioners are proficient in both Arabic and English, facilitating effective communication with patients from various backgrounds.

Funding of Healthcare in Dubai

Healthcare in Dubai is funded through various sources, including taxation, the public sector, and patient expenditures. Unlike some countries, Dubai does not have a system of personal income tax, and employers are responsible for providing employees with health coverage.

When it comes to healthcare expenses, employees with health insurance coverage provided by their employers are typically responsible for a copayment of 20% of medical costs, with an annual cap of 1,000 dirhams. 

Employers are required to provide medical insurance for their expat employees, but coverage for employee dependents is not mandatory. While some employers choose to offer family coverage, many do not.

Eligibility for Healthcare Coverage in Dubai

The Essentials Benefits Plan (EBP) was developed to assist expats with lower salaries and provide them with basic medical care coverage, which includes children, domestic staff, and non-working residents.

Employers can choose an alternative health insurance plan for employees earning more than 4,000 dirhams a month, as long as it provides the same level of coverage as the EBP. It is illegal for employers to reduce an employee’s salary to meet the low-cost EBP coverage standards. 

Best Private International Health Insurance for Expats in Dubai

White Boat Near Dubai High Rises, Daytime

When it comes to healthcare options for expats in Dubai, two leading providers in this field are Cigna Global and William Russell. They are private international health insurance companies that offer comprehensive coverage and peace of mind. 

Cigna Global specializes in tailored plans for individuals and families, with a wide network of hospitals and round-the-clock customer service. Their plans are designed to meet the specific needs of expats in Dubai, ensuring access to quality healthcare whenever it’s needed.

William Russell offers comprehensive coverage that includes benefits for cancer and access to a network of 40,000 hospitals worldwide. Their global medical plan caters to expats in Dubai, providing extensive coverage both locally and internationally.

Expats in Dubai can choose from these reputable providers to find the best private international health insurance that suits their needs. With comprehensive coverage, access to top hospitals, and support from trusted providers, expats can ensure their healthcare needs are met in Dubai and beyond.

Applying for Public Healthcare in Dubai

To apply for a health card, you must provide certain documents, including your Emirates ID number, passport, residence visa, passport photos, a copy of your tenancy contract, and a completed application card. You must then submit your application and pay the fee of AED 320.

When it comes to healthcare in Dubai, all individuals working legally in the city are eligible for healthcare coverage. Employers are also required to provide basic health insurance to all expats, ensuring that everyone has access to necessary medical care.

It is worth noting that public healthcare in Dubai is known for its high quality. If you wish to access medical services in government-run facilities like Dubai Hospital and Latifa Hospital, you will need a health card.

However, many expats choose to have private health insurance in addition to their public coverage. Private health insurance offers greater access to specialists and shorter wait times, providing expats with enhanced healthcare options.

Maternity Care in Dubai’s Healthcare System

Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa Metro Station

As an expat, you can access prenatal care and delivery services in Dubai, but you’re required to be legally married and must register no later than 7 months into your pregnancy to secure a spot in the system and receive timely care.

To give birth in Dubai, individuals must be legally married, as the UAE prohibits unmarried individuals from having children. Home births are also not allowed in Dubai, ensuring that all deliveries take place in a safe and controlled environment.

The cost of maternity care in Dubai varies depending on the chosen healthcare facility and the level of care required. On average, the cost ranges from 4000 to 7000 dirhams, covering delivery and prenatal appointments.

It is recommended that you register with a clinic or hospital of your choice no later than seven months into your pregnancy. This ensures that you secure a spot and receive timely prenatal care. When registering, make sure to provide the necessary documentation.

Maternity care in Dubai’s healthcare system is known for its high standards and comprehensive services. By following the legal requirements and choosing a reputable healthcare provider, you can receive exceptional care and support throughout your pregnancy and childbirth journey.

Finding Doctors and Pharmacies in Dubai

Finding quality healthcare providers in Dubai is made easier through online portals and directories such as Dubai Healthcare City and private insurance company portals. Many doctors in Dubai are bilingual in Arabic and English, ensuring effective communication with expats.

In Dubai, pharmacies are abundant and often open 24 hours a day, offering convenience and accessibility. It is important to note that certain medications, such as sleeping pills and anti-depressants, may be restricted or require a prescription from a doctor. 

Visitors to Dubai are permitted to bring a limited supply of prescription drugs, while residents can bring up to a year’s supply with the appropriate documentation. It’s always best to check with the relevant authorities and carry the necessary paperwork to avoid any issues during travel.

Leading Hospitals in Dubai

Sign Near Jumeirah Beach, Dubai

Among the top hospitals in Dubai are the renowned American Hospital, Dubai Community Health Centre, and Dubai London Clinic. These hospitals are well-equipped with advanced medical technologies and staffed with highly experienced doctors and healthcare professionals.

At the American Hospital, patients can expect world-class treatment and comprehensive medical services across various specialties. Dubai Community Health Centre offers a wide range of medical services. The Dubai London Clinic stands out for its cutting-edge diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities.


What is the healthcare system like in Dubai for expats?

The healthcare system in Dubai is well-regulated and is a mix of public and private care, with most expats opting for private healthcare options.

How is healthcare funded in Dubai?

Healthcare in Dubai is funded through taxation, the public sector, and patient expenditures.

Do expats in Dubai have access to public healthcare?

Expats have the option to choose between private and public healthcare. There are four public hospitals in Dubai that offer inpatient and outpatient services.

Are all residents, including expats, required to have medical insurance in Dubai?

All residents in Dubai, including expats, are required to have medical insurance. Employers are also required to provide health insurance for their expat employees.

Corporate quote CTA


To summarize, Dubai’s healthcare system consists of both public and private providers. While public healthcare is of a world-class standard, private healthcare is recommended to ensure timely treatment.

Both Emiratis and foreign workers in Dubai should secure health insurance to fulfill the mandatory legal obligations for health insurance. This requires you to carefully consider your budget and healthcare needs in advance.

To prevent penalties and ensure continuous insurance coverage, it is advised to get in touch with a broker and carefully examine the terms and conditions of each policy provided by participating insurers.

Whether you require family insurance, individual medical insurance in Dubai, or any other type of insurance, Pacific Prime Dubai’s brokers will compare plans and streamline the process of choosing the best option within your budget.

Feel free to reach out to us today for unbiased advice or to obtain a quote without any obligations.

Content Writer at Pacific Prime
Piyanat is a Content Writer with an affinity for storytelling and marketing. He works with a team of experienced professionals at Pacific Prime who create a range of engaging and informative content aimed at helping both individuals and companies understand the importance of and benefits of insurance.

Upon graduating from Mahidol University International College’s International Relations program, he spent his career in marketing and business development, working for an international subcontractor, a marketing research firm, an international news agency, a software development company, and a creative agency. His journey now continues at Pacific Prime, where he hopes to make an impact by simplifying insurance.

In his free time, Piyanat is an avid martial artist and musician, spending most of his time at boxing gyms in Nakhon Pathom and music studios with his friends in the music industry. He’s also a big fan of turtles.
Piyanat Jantharot
Latest posts by Piyanat Jantharot (see all)