Expats Talk about Health Insurance and Healthcare in Abu Dhabi

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By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Sep 24, 2021

Summary: Expats and global nomads in Abu Dhabi, UAE share their experiences with health insurance, healthcare in UAE, local hospitals and specialists, quality of medical care and more.

How are healthcare services Abu Dhabi?

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When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Abu Dhabi, they replied:

"Advanced recon on the ground is very important. Do not expect to find the perfect doctor straight away. The American hospitals are the most expensive but usually have the best standards of care. Find a doctor whom you like and stick with that person. If your company does not provide medical insurance, there are plenty of options to receive based on budget," commented one expat living in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Are healthcare and health insurance expensive in Abu Dhabi?

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"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," remarked another expat in Abu Dhabi.

Expats living in UAE interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get quotes our partner, International Citizens Insurance, a trusted expat health insurance broker. They will provide you with comparison quotes from some of the biggest expat health insurers: Cigna, Aetna and GeoBlue. Get a Quote

Expats living in UAE interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get quotes our partner, International Citizens Insurance, a trusted expat health insurance broker. They will provide you with comparison quotes from some of the biggest expat health insurers: Cigna, Aetna and GeoBlue.

What are emergency services like in Abu Dhabi?

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When we asked about emergency services, members in Abu Dhabi wrote:

"Hospitals are everywhere, clinics as well. Less than 30 minutes to any hospital unless you are out in the desert. MedClinic is a big hospital provider in the region. Quality varies on your insurance coverage. Both public and private options. The region is very class oriented and as a result, the costs associated with care filters out the people who cannot afford it," commented one expat who moved to Abu Dhabi.

Will I need to travel to see a specialist?

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"Many people traveled to Thailand or other south east asia for medical tourism. Everything from knee replacement to braces. Typically, standards are good if not better than care in UAE," remarked another expat in Abu Dhabi.

Are common prescription medications available in Abu Dhabi?

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"There are no prescribed narcotics: codine and similar drugs are not legally available and traveling in with them can get you in big trouble. The UAE website has a detailed list of what is legal. There are pharmacies all over with an assortment of medicines. Some things like birth control and Voltorin are available over the counter but other things like cough syrup may require prescription. You may often skip the doctor and go to a trusted pharmacy and they will advise on what to take to get better," commented one expat living in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

"Hospitals are clustered in the city. On the outskirts they are less frequent, but you are never more than a 20 minute drive away from a hospital. There are private and government hospitals available, expats typically go to the private hospitals. Quality of care is high, hospitals are held to international standards and have expat nursing staff and doctors," commented one expat who moved to Abu Dhabi.

"Hospitals are very close and provide adequate care. Like any area, you get what you pay for as well when it comes to the hospitals. The American hospitals are typically the most reliable for high level of care," said another expat.

Have you felt comfortable with the medical care available during the pandemic?

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When asked specifically about healthcare experiences during Covid-19 pandemic, respondents said:

"Constant swabs freely available throughout the city. Tracing system a bit too elaborate :-)," added another expat.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Italy, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and the Living in Panama Guide. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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