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United Arab Emirates – Health Insurance

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country located in the Middle East and has a rapidly growing population of both locals and expatriates. The UAE has a modern and sophisticated healthcare system that provides both public and private healthcare services. Health insurance is mandatory in the UAE, and the government provides a state health insurance system for citizens and residents. Expats living in the UAE can also opt for international private medical insurance.

Health Insurance Requirements in the United Arab Emirates

Health insurance is mandatory in the United Arab Emirates. The UAE government requires all citizens and residents to have health insurance coverage. This is known as the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) health insurance system.

State Health Insurance System in the United Arab Emirates

The state health insurance system in the United Arab Emirates is known as the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) health insurance system. The DHA health insurance system covers all UAE citizens and residents, regardless of their income or employment status.

The DHA health insurance system provides coverage for a wide range of medical services, including doctor visits, hospital stays, laboratory tests, and prescription medications. The DHA health insurance system also covers certain dental services, as well as emergency medical services. The DHA health insurance system does not cover elective procedures or cosmetic treatments.

Applying for State Health Insurance System in the United Arab Emirates (provide answer in numbered steps)

  1. Obtain a residence visa: Before you can apply for health insurance in the UAE, you must obtain a residence visa. You can obtain a residence visa by applying to the UAE immigration authorities with the required documents, including a passport, a residency application form, and a health certificate.

  2. Obtain a Emirates ID: Once you have obtained a residence visa, you must obtain an Emirates ID. The Emirates ID is a government-issued identification card that is required for many transactions in the UAE, including applying for health insurance. You can obtain an Emirates ID by visiting an Emirates ID service center with your passport and residency visa.

  3. Choose a health insurance provider: Once you have obtained a residence visa and an Emirates ID, you must choose a health insurance provider. The DHA health insurance system has several approved providers, and you can choose a provider based on your needs and budget.

  4. Submit your application: To apply for health insurance through the DHA health insurance system, you must visit your chosen health insurance provider and submit your application. You will be required to provide your personal information, including your name, address, and contact details. You will also be required to provide information about your employment status and income.

  5. Wait for approval: After submitting your application, you will need to wait for approval. The approval process can take several weeks, and you may be required to provide additional information or documentation.

  6. Receive your health insurance card: Once your application has been approved, you will receive your health insurance card. You can use your health insurance card to access healthcare services at public healthcare facilities in the UAE.

Advantages of Private Medical Insurance in the United Arab Emirates

While the state health insurance system in the UAE provides coverage for all citizens and residents, expats living in the UAE may also want to consider purchasing international private medical insurance. International private medical insurance offers several advantages for expats living in the UAE, including:

  1. Access to private healthcare facilities: While the public healthcare system in the UAE provides basic healthcare services for free, private healthcare facilities offer more specialized and personalized care. With international private medical insurance, expats can access private healthcare facilities and receive the best possible medical treatment without having to worry about the cost.

  2. Coverage for pre-existing conditions: The state health insurance system in the UAE does not cover pre-existing medical conditions. However, with international private medical insurance, expats can receive coverage for pre-existing conditions and receive necessary medical treatment.


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    1. Coverage for medical emergencies abroad: International private medical insurance offers coverage for medical emergencies abroad. This is especially important for expats who may travel frequently for work or leisure.

    2. Language barriers: Expats who do not speak Arabic may find it challenging to communicate with healthcare providers in public healthcare facilities. Private healthcare facilities often have English-speaking staff, making it easier for expats to communicate their medical needs.

    3. Flexibility in choosing healthcare providers: With international private medical insurance, expats can choose their healthcare providers, including doctors and hospitals. This gives them more control over their medical care and allows them to receive treatment from trusted and reputable healthcare providers.

    4. Faster access to medical care: Private healthcare facilities in the UAE often have shorter wait times for appointments and procedures. With international private medical insurance, expats can receive faster access to medical care and receive treatment in a timely manner.

    Overall, while the state health insurance system in the UAE provides coverage for basic healthcare services, expats living in the UAE may want to consider purchasing international private medical insurance to receive more specialized and personalized medical treatment, coverage for pre-existing conditions, coverage for medical emergencies abroad, and faster access to medical care.


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