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Expat Exchange - Do I need Health Insurance When Moving to the UAE?
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Do I need Health Insurance When Moving to the UAE?

By Joshua Wood, LPC

William Russell
William Russell

Summary: Is health insurance a requirement when you are moving to the UAE? This article explores health insurance requirements for newcomers to the UAE.

Healthcare in the UAE - Do I need Health Insurance When Moving to the UAE?

When planning a move to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as an expat or digital nomad, one of the essential considerations is healthcare. The UAE mandates that all residents have health insurance coverage. This requirement extends to newcomers who are in the process of obtaining residency. The specifics of the required coverage can vary depending on the emirate, with Dubai and Abu Dhabi having their own particular regulations. Generally, the insurance must cover emergency healthcare, maternity care, and inpatient and outpatient treatment, with minimum coverage amounts stipulated by the respective emirate. It's crucial to have health insurance from the moment you arrive, as it not only ensures compliance with local laws but also provides peace of mind as you navigate your new environment.

Does Expat Health Insurance Meet the Requirements?

Expat health insurance policies are specifically designed to meet the needs of individuals living outside their home country, and many of these plans are compliant with the UAE's health insurance requirements. However, it is vital to verify that the policy you choose meets the minimum coverage amounts and includes all the mandatory benefits as per the emirate you will be residing in. It's advisable to consult with insurance providers or brokers who are familiar with the UAE's regulations to ensure that your policy is adequate. Additionally, some employers in the UAE provide health insurance as part of the employment package, which typically aligns with the local legal requirements.

Which local health insurers offer this type of insurance?

There are several local health insurers in the UAE that offer comprehensive health insurance plans suitable for expats and digital nomads. Some of the well-known insurance companies include Daman National Health Insurance Company, Orient Insurance PJSC, Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC), and AXA Gulf. These insurers provide a range of plans that cater to different needs and budgets, ensuring that you can find a policy that not only meets the legal requirements but also aligns with your personal healthcare needs. It's recommended to compare plans from these insurers and consider factors such as network coverage, customer service, and the ease of processing claims when selecting a policy.

Advice from Expats in the UAE about Health Insurance

Experienced expats in the UAE often emphasize the importance of thoroughly understanding the terms and conditions of your health insurance policy. It's crucial to ensure that your plan covers not only basic healthcare but also any specific medical needs you may have. Pay attention to the network of hospitals and clinics covered by your policy, as well as any exclusions or limitations. Additionally, consider the geographical coverage of your plan, especially if you plan to travel frequently within the region or internationally. Expats also recommend assessing the claims process and the insurer's reputation for handling claims efficiently. Lastly, while cost is an important factor, it should not be the sole determinant of your choice. A comprehensive plan that offers adequate coverage and peace of mind is invaluable when settling into a new country like the UAE.

Expats Talk about Health Insurance in UAE

"Our health insurance was provided by the company I worked for. We had to pay about $10 (30AED) for a doctors visit. The process was very smooth and seamless," said one expat who moved to Dubai, the UAE.

"Like most places, you pay for what you get. My company had our family on a health plan but it continually changed with the company trying to save money every year," mentioned one expat when asked about moving to the UAE.

"Health insurance is covered by the company we work for. We pay a minimal fee per doctors visit but thats it," stated one expat who made the move to the UAE.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


William Russell
William Russell

William Russell
William Russell

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

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William Russell
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