Posted on February 23, 2023 by Driven Properties Latam


One of the factors to consider when moving abroad is the healthcare system. Below is an overview of the healthcare system specifically in Dubai.

In the United Arab Emirates, you will find clinics, public and private hospitals, and primary care centers. In Dubai, the healthcare system is of high standards and offers modern facilities. Whether you use the public or private health network, you can be sure that your medical needs will be taken care of.

Operation of the Health System

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) manages both the public and private health network. For public hospitals, you have the option to choose between four main hospitals: Dubai, Rashid, Latifa and Hatta. They offer emergency services as well as inpatient and outpatient services. The staff speak English extensively.

To access public hospitals, you will need your health card, which you must obtain upon arrival in the UAE. You can apply online with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) or visit any of the primary health care centers. You will be required to present two passport photos, proof of employment and a copy of your valid passport, as well as your Emirates ID (which you will get once you get your resident visa) to get the health card. The fees for a health card are AED 320 for people aged 18 and over, and AED 120 for those aged 10 and under.

Most of the expatriates prefer the private healthcare system which offers them a wider range of medical services. That being said, you may want to keep your health card handy anyway just in case.

Mandatory health insurance

Since 2015, all foreign citizens living in Dubai have to subscribe to a minimum health insurance through the Dubai Health Authority (DHA). This measure aims to eliminate any inequality in the local health system.

This mandatory health insurance provides coverage in case of emergencies, as well as visits to a general practitioner, basic and comprehensive exams and prescription drugs. It also applies to physiotherapy, maternity follow-ups and surgical operations. Check with your employer about this. If you have domestic help, drivers or babysitters under your employment, you will also be responsible for their health insurance.

Dubai Health City

In Dubai, the government's strategy is to attract visitors to the United Arab Emirates for medical and other wellness services. Dubai Health City was founded in 2002 and is the world's largest healthcare free zone. The second phase of the project is still under construction and hopes to welcome wealthy locals, expats and tourists alike for premium healthcare services.

Good to know:

Dubai is home to world-class hospitals that provide high-quality healthcare. Some medicines are prohibited in Dubai. Check with the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Health before moving to Dubai.

In order to get your visa for Dubai, you need to prove that your employer has already taken care of the formalities related to the compulsory health insurance.

If you are not working for a company, you will need to apply for a health card at the Department of Public Health Services. The health card is valid for one year and is renewable.


In case you do not require a visa to travel to Dubai, you must apply for your health card within 30 days of your arrival in the country.

Emergency numbers in Dubai

998 - Ambulance

999 - Police

997 - Firefighters