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Five quick points to note about health care in Abu Dhabi and Dubai

1. What kind of health care system is there in Abu Dhabi and Dubai? 

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a national health service, which is overseen by the Ministry of Health and Prevention. Abu Dhabi and Dubai have their own health authorities — Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and Dubai Health Authority (DHA) — that shape the policies in their respective emirate.

2. Are there private hospitals?

Yes. In fact, there are more private hospitals than government-funded hospitals in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. These facilities tend to be state-of-the-art, and their role in everyday medical care in the UAE is growing. Most private medical centres offer a range of inpatient care (where hospital admission is required for treatment) and outpatient (where treatment is administered without requiring admission to hospital) clinics.

3. Do you need health insurance if you intend to live there?

Yes, it’s a legal requirement for all residents in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to have private medical insurance. Your employer is responsible for arranging a minimum level of cover. However, you may want to upgrade your own cover to make it more comprehensive, or consider international private medical insurance for any family members living with you, if they’re not covered by the policy provided by your employer.  

4. What is the quality of care like in Abu Dhabi and Dubai?

Health care in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is high quality, at least matching the standards of the USA, UK and other high-earning Western countries. In addition, new hospitals and medical centres are being built in areas that most need them. 

5. How much does medical care cost?

In February 2017, the Expatistan Cost of Living Index showed that a 15-minute trip to the doctor in Abu Dhabi costs 177 AED ($48). In Dubai, it’s 286 AED ($78). Both are cheaper than many places in the U.S.

Some surgical procedures also cost less in Abu Dhabi and Dubai than in the US. A prostate operation, for example, costs up to 29,000 AED ($7,896) in the UAE. In the U.S., it’s about 39,000 AED ($10,618).

One reason for these lower costs is that the cost of land, construction, non-medical staff is much cheaper in the UAE. 

For more information about international private medical insurance, and the health and wellness support available for members, please contact our expert sales consultants. 

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