Healthcare In The United Arab Emirates

Running alongside a developing private healthcare system, the UAE boasts a very efficient, government funded health service. Find out more below.


The UAE has made great progress in health care due to substantial government spending and today the standard of healthcare in the UAE is generally considered to be on par with the rest of the world. Currently the UAE government finances 81% of the cost of health care, but moves towards privatisation of the sector are on the increase.

The Dubai Department of Health and Medical Services has initiated laws that oblige all healthcare facilities in Dubai to attain international accreditation by 2010 or face closure. With the ongoing introduction of international healthcare practices, standards of healthcare in the UAE will only improve further. Hospitals are equipped with the latest of medical equipment, and specialist centres such as cancer, IVF, heart surgery and transplant units can also be found throughout the UAE.

Over the past three decades, particular attention has been paid to the health of UAE citizens and the government has introduced comprehensive health programmes and immunisation campaigns that have had a major impact on life expectancy (now age 76 for women and 74 for men), and endemic diseases have now been eradicated.

The healthcare infrastructure in the UAE is upgraded regularly and a central database is now in operation to streamline and speed up medical services within the emirates. Bed capacity in public hospitals is planned to double over the next ten years and according to the UN Human Development Report, the UAE now ranks 43rd out of 174 industrial and developing countries in terms of healthcare.

Throughout the UAE, a large number of state funded care units exist for maternity and child care, including 9 specialised centres, 95 clinics, 4 maternity hospitals and 14 general hospitals. Today more than 97% of UAE births take place in hospitals.

If you are an expatriate employee, you are not required to make social security contributions in the UAE, but health care coverage will be required in order for you to obtain a residency permit.

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