The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the world’s richest countries, with a strong economy and modern infrastructure the foundation of the country’s growth. Consisting of seven emirates, the most globally well-known of which are Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the country is unique in that it is estimated as much as 90% of the population is made up of expats.
As well as being a popular location to live and work, the UAE is also a hugely popular tourist destination, while medical tourism in the country is also going through a strong period of growth as of 2019.
Healthcare in the UAE is governed and delivered both at the federal level and at emirate level. While there are both public and private healthcare facilities across the country, only UAE citizens are eligible to access healthcare and treatment at a very low cost or sometimes free of charge. However, due to the large expat population, it is estimated that only around 25% of public hospital use is by UAE citizens, with the remainder of use by the expat population. Private sector healthcare is almost exclusively used by expats only.
Standards of treatment and care in hospitals across the UAE are high, and due to the population demographics, it is rare to find hospitals overcrowded or patients experiencing long wait times for treatment. However, many residents are still required to travel abroad to undergo specialist treatment depending on their condition.
Having a private medical and health insurance package will ensure that you are able to cover your medical costs while you’re based in the UAE.
Expats are able to access public healthcare facilities in the UAE, but require a health card to do so and will still be required to pay for any treatment and care they receive. Applying for a health card is easy to do, residents simply need to pick up an application form from a hospital and submit the completed application along with any supporting documents they are asked for. Once a resident has a health card, this is valid for one year and can subsequently be renewed online.
In Dubai and Abu Dhabi, companies are required by law to provide private health coverage to employees.
However, it is recommended that anyone moving to the UAE to work checks what level of coverage they have, and considers taking out an additional international health insurance package to ensure they are comprehensively covered for any medical treatment they need and costs that may be incurred.
Our health and medical insurance plans start from as little as $26 per month for our WorldCare Essential Plan. While this plan will cover most of your costs for any in-patient and day-patient treatment you require while living in the UAE, we recommend you compare this to any employer health insurance and consider our other plans. Our other plans enable you to also be covered for out-patient care, dental treatment, and specialist maternity care.
Join thousands of Now Health International members and take out a private medical and health insurance package to keep you covered while living in the UAE.
“I am so grateful to the Now Health Team for everything they did for me and my family. My rare condition was completely unexpected and it was distressing to discover this while I was pregnant. However from the initial diagnosis all the way through to my kidney transplant, the team were nothing but supportive and ensured I could access the best care when I needed it most. Having the reassurance that my mother’s transplant donor costs would be covered was also a real relief. Thank you Now Health!”