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Tips on giving birth as an expat in Dubai

The prospect of giving birth in a foreign country far from home can be a little intimidating. However, as with anything in life, some essential planning and preparation can go a long way, especially if you intend to give birth in Dubai.

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Here are some tips from Pacific Prime Dubai that you should know about giving birth as an expat in Dubai.

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Marriage before giving birth

Until fairly recently, you would be asked for your marriage certificate when you registered at a hospital for a maternity package, and UAE law required parents to be married in order to have a birth certificate issued for your baby after birth.

A new law now in effect decriminalizes consensual relationships out of wedlock, provided that any child conceived as a result is acknowledged and will be cared for.

Either of the parents who are resident in UAE, may apply to the Dubai Courts for obtaining a birth certificate for the child. A marriage certificate is no longer required to register a birth. Therefore, even if you and your partner decide not to tie the knot, upon declaring that you are the parents and will provide all the relevant documents (identification papers and travel documents) to register the child in the UAE, the courts will have the authority to grant a birth certificate for your baby.

Secure maternity insurance

Giving birth in Dubai without adequate maternity insurance or coverage can become a financial burden and leave you paying sky-high fees out of pocket, with costs such as antenatal care packages in Dubai ranging from AED 4,000 in public hospitals to AED 5,500 or more in private hospitals.

Check with your employer if your group insurance includes comprehensive maternity coverage and establish how much is provided. For those unsure of who to contact, a reputable insurance broker can help you choose the plans that will fulfill your needs during your pregnancy and after giving birth.

Choose a hospital – Public vs. Private

To open a maternity file you will need to choose either a public or private hospital to give birth and receive care in. Be sure to check your insurance policy to find out which hospitals are included in its provider network.

It is best to research thoroughly and see what services and benefits are available to suit your needs during your pregnancy. In addition, check the hospital’s policy if you want your husband to be able to stay the night in the hospital with you, or stay longer after visiting hours. Additionally private and public hospitals generally differ on cost and quality of service, so be sure to compare and check the details of the maternity package when choosing.

Public hospitals to choose from:

  • Rashid Hospital,
  • Dubai Hospital,
  • Hatta Hospital

Private hospitals to choose from:

  • Al Zahra Hospital Dubai,
  • American Hospital Dubai,
  • Aster Hospital,
  • Canadian Specialist Hospital,
  • Cedars Jebel Ali International Hospital,
  • International Modern Hospital,
  • Iranian Hospital (Red Crescent affiliate),
  • King’s College Hospital Dubai,
  • Lifeline Hospital,
  • Medcare Hospital Jumeirah,
  • New Medical Center,
  • Zulekha Hospital Dubai

Pick your Ob-Gyn

When planning on having a baby in Dubai, you will need to choose an Obstetrician-Gynecologist (Ob-gyn). The Ob-gyn will most likely be a female since the UAE is a Muslim country.

It is a cultural norm, especially in Dubai, that expectant mothers feel more comfortable with female doctors. The Ob-gyn and their team are trained to deliver your baby in a safe and professional environment.

Additionally, you shouldn’t be surprised to find that popular doctors will have waiting lists to take you on as an expat, so do advance research as healthcare in Dubai is a competitive business and doctors who are highly rated are usually fully booked.

Birth registration

After the birth of the baby, you will need the notification of birth certificate in Arabic, which is issued by the hospital. For expatriates, you must get the Arabic version translated into English, and then both the Arabic and English certificates attested by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Find out more by visiting the Government of Dubai’s website to register your baby’s birth.

If neither you nor your partner is a citizen of UAE, your baby will not acquire UAE citizenship by birth. The UAE laws generally follow the jus sanguinis principle, where citizenship is determined or acquired by the nationality or ethnicity of one or both parents.

Are your Dubai maternity insurance benefits enough?

Dubai offers exceptional healthcare services and professional support, which means giving birth can be quite expensive. To give you an idea, the maternity package costs at Al Zahra Hospital and American Hospital in early December 2022 are as follows:

Al Zahra Hospital:

  • Normal delivery package: AED 9,900 (for payment in cash only).
  • C-section delivery package: AED 20,900 (for payment in cash only).
  • Antenatal package: extra.

American Hospital:

  • Normal delivery package: AED 15,000.
  • C-section delivery package: AED 28,000.
  • Antenatal package: AED 5,950.

Even though maternity insurance coverage is included as part of the Emirate’s mandatory health insurance, it is important to note that the minimum legally required annual claims limit in Dubai is only AED 150,000.

Those already with maternity insurance should be aware that the minimum may be too low, and you will likely have to pay a considerable amount out of pocket for maternity care. To learn more about your maternity insurance options, seek the expert advice of Pacific Prime Dubai’s consultants to get a broader and more realistic outlook on the trends and cost of maternity coverage in Dubai.

Contact Pacific Prime Dubai to secure health insurance

While there are many more tips and advice that you can find about giving birth as an expat in Dubai, the first crucial step that you should take for yourself is to find a reputable broker like Pacific Prime Dubai.

Pacific Prime Dubai offers private health insurance options from all major insurers, including maternity insurance and insurance for the family.

Our excellent consultants’ advice is completely impartial and, best of all, you’ll be able to compare a vast range of health insurance options

Contact us today, or request a Dubai medical insurance quote online here.

Content Creator at Pacific Prime Dubai
Jimmy is a content writer who helps simplify insurance for readers interested in international private medical insurance. He is on a mission in Thailand to support locals, expatriates, and businesses by bring the latest news and updates to his Pacific Prime blog articles.

His expert view and wealth of knowledge on insurance can also be found in his blogs for China, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Singapore.