Health insurance in Dubai: importance and benefits

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  • Health insurance is mandatory for all residents in Dubai.
  • The basic plan — Essential Benefit Package — offers maximum annual coverage of AED 150,000.
  • Women in Dubai can avail maternity benefits even in basic plans.
  • A strong network of hospitals provides insurance benefits to all.
  • International health insurance schemes are available for support outside Dubai.

Why health insurance is a must

Life is unpredictable and so is health. Medical needs and emergencies can arise anytime and in a city like Dubai, where cost of living is quite high, it is not always easy to manage the expenses. As the Emirates lead the way in mandatory health insurance, it is proven beneficial for residents and expats alike.

A health insurance will keep you relaxed and alleviate tensions of a monetary burden. You can be sure of a financial backup and be confident in availing the right treatment without getting worried about the expenses. There are a wide range of schemes that provide different benefits according to what you choose to buy. While some health providers offer to pay 100% of the medical fees, others agree to provide a part of the expenses, in percentages.
All companies in Dubai are required to provide insurance coverage for all employees. Some of them cover their dependents too. Besides, the law also makes it compulsory for all residents of the city to have a minimum basic health cover.

The basic plan

Even the basic plan in the Emirates assures adequate medical coverage. The most basic health insurance scheme that the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has made obligatory is the Essential Benefit Package (EPA), and the yearly cost falls between AED 565 to AED 650. The policy offers a maximum annual coverage of AED 150,000 not only in Dubai but also in most of the Emirates in the UAE.

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the Emirates rolls out similar basic schemes that ensure health insurance coverage for all. However, for the basic plan, pre-existing medical conditions have a waiting period of six months, after which they will be included in the coverage.

Medicinal drugs are capped at AED1,500 including co-payment.

As per the current statistics from the Dubai Health Authority, 50 insurance companies operating in Dubai, allow residents to choose from an extensive range of health plans. Health insurance providers offer services depending on criteria such as:

  • Maximum yearly coverage
  • Medicine and drug coverage
  • Co-payment rates
  • Geographic scope of coverage (local/regional/international)
  • Relevant hospitals and clinics (public/private)
  • Specialty care (dental, physiotherapy)

Maternity coverage

Maternity cover is one of the greatest benefits of insurance coverage in Dubai. With slight differences in the details of the schemes, even the most basic plan includes ample benefits which cover the mother as well as the child during pregnancy. Some plans offer for new mom‘s an after birth care too such as: Eight visits to a primary healthcare physician during the pregnancy period, 3 free ultrasounds, up to AED 7,000 cover for normal delivery and AED 10,000 cover for a medically required C-Section.

A strong network of hospitals and clinics in the city provide insurance benefits, contributing to an additional boon. Many private and public hospitals in Dubai function 24 hours a day, making it easy for the patients to access medical needs. Also, the emergency departments function around-the-clock which is an additional feature available for patients with unexpected circumstances.

International insurance schemes

The insured can also avail international health insurance schemes (instead of buying a travel insurance), which would help manage treatment costs outside Dubai. Such schemes would benefit people who travel frequently, including students and business people, who can choose from a wide range of bespoke plans. Medical aid while on a trip can be hassle free!

Dubai’s DHA has achieved a number of key technological milestones since its inception in 2007, the eClaimLink and Salem being two of them. The former manages claims and health information, while the latter accelerates visa medical screenings procedures. These innovations, along with the introduction of compulsory health insurance in Dubai, pave way for the healthcare industry in a city penetrating a transformational phase.


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Aqeed is on a mission to help you become better at everything related to insurance. The articles are meant to enrich your knowledge about insurance so that you make the right choices. From the decisions you make to the options you take, you are In Sure Hands.

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