Healthcare in Dubai

Take some time to understand how to access healthcare in Dubai before you start your studies and make sure you know how to access a doctor, pharmacy and other healthcare services.

Health insurance

The law requires that all Nationals and Residents of Dubai (including dependents) must have coverage in place to pay for emergency and ongoing healthcare needs. This requirement applies to all economic areas of the Emirate of Dubai, including Free Zones. 

For Nationals, there is a Dubai Government-funded scheme which is structured in a similar way to a private insurance scheme, with annual cover limits, a table of benefits included, and list of services excluded.

Residents (and their dependents) will need private health insurance. As a student, you must ensure you have valid and recognised coverage. Students under University of Birmingham Dubai sponsorship are required to obtain and maintain medical insurance, which you will need to apply alongside your visa. If you are not University sponsored student, you will have the option to subscribe to the University of Birmingham Dubai's medical insurance. Typically, the insurance coverage will begin once your student residence visa has been stamped on your passport. Therefore it is strongly recommended that students subscribe to a travel insurance to provide for their needs in the meantime. 

Accessing healthcare services

Dubai has an extensive healthcare system and offers a wide range of high standard medical facilities. You should familiarise yourself with the network of health providers that are listed under your health insurance scheme so that you know who you can contact should you need to visit a service. Some may be under direct billing or by claim.

Insurance providers have different plans available and you should make sure you understand what is covered by your chosen plan. Unless there is a medical emergency, you should make an appointment with the healthcare provider to avoid unnecessary waiting times or arriving to find that your doctor is not available. Once you arrive, you will normally be asked to present some identification and your valid medical insurance card.

Urgent healthcare

If you need a private doctor or paramedic to visit your residence, you can call 800-DOCTOR (800-362867), which is operated by private group Lifeline Healthcare. You should make sure your insurance provider will cover this service before you call.

Dubai Health Authority and Dubai Police websites both list the pharmacies that are available 24/7.

In case of emergency, call 999 for a government ambulance, or to call the police for any emergency. The number 999 can be used for any emergency situation when you need to get in touch with the police or ambulance services. If the situation is not an emergency, you should make an appointment or seek advice with the relevant authorities.