Travelling is not the time most of us expect to be sick. Indeed, getting sick on your holiday is one of the worst things that can happen to you. But illness doesn’t know things like having a holiday – you can become sick or get into an accident just as likely abroad as you can at home. Therefore, it’s always best to be safe rather than sorry.
But health insurance isn’t just a helpful tool to have in your suitcase. In some cases, you might need health insurance to even enter the country. One such place is the United Arab Emirates. So, what do you need to know about health insurance in Dubai and how can having it help you travel in the glorious city?
Let’s start by examining the reasons health insurance is useful, not just when travelling in Dubai. An adequate health insurance can help you with two invaluable things: staying alive and not getting in debt.
The first benefit is rather obvious. You don’t want your holiday to be the final holiday you ever take. It’s not to say hospitals will leave you to bleed to death without insurance. However, the treatment you receive might be just bare minimum and the implications of not receiving the best possible care might come back to haunt you. You don’t want to find yourself in situations where you need to choose what kind of care you receive based on how much it pays.
More importantly, although not quite as dramatically, a proper health insurance will help you stay out of lifelong debt. Healthcare is not free in most cases, but it definitely costs for anyone not residing in the country. You will be charged for the care you receive – without health insurance, the cost will come right from your pocket. If you can’t pay, you might even have to go to jail. If you have healthcare cover in your country of residence, you probably don’t even think about the cost of care. But in reality, everything from the bandages used to the occupancy of the hotel bed will cost money. A few simple stitches could end up costing more than your holiday.
Now, due to the pressures in most healthcare systems around the world, governments have taken a tougher stance on tourists being unable to pay for the care they receive. Therefore, a growing number of countries have issued mandatory health insurance requirements for obtaining a visa and gaining entry to the country. One of these is UAE – so if you want to visit Dubai, you’ll need to sort out your health insurance.
The scheme of mandatory medical insurance was rolled out in 2011. Currently, if you are travelling into the country, you will need to have a valid health insurance in order to gain access. Without valid insurance, you won’t be allowed to step foot in the streets of Dubai until you purchase one. Exemptions used to apply for those who don’t require a visa on arrival but you are, nonetheless, always better off opting for health insurance.
Obtaining a health insurance for your stay won’t be difficult. If you are going for a holiday, your travel agency will be able to sort out insurance queries for you. You can also buy health insurance in Dubai directly from local insurers or you can compare health insurance online and you can always check with your home or health insurer back home for additional cover.
Furthermore, if you are going to Dubai to work, your employer should have more information regarding valid insurance policies. Working or staying permanently in Dubai without health insurance could lead to your visa being revoked and you might be fined rather heavily.
In terms of the cover, you can find the basic health insurance in Dubai cover emergency medicine and care in the case of sickness and accidents. The cover can be up to Dh150,000, which is slightly under $41,000. In most instances, this will be enough to see you through any common illnesses or accidents. You will also be covered up to Dh7,500 (around $2,050) in the case of death and the repatriation of remains.
The above is only for the most basic health policy requirement. Depending on your health insurance provider, the cover can be much wider and the maximum coverage higher.
Note that you need to prove you have valid health insurance when entering Dubai – or, indeed, the country. This could be a copy or the original health insurance document either in print or in digital format. Just make sure the health insurance clearly states it is valid for Dubai or UAE. For example, if you have a valid health insurance in your country of origin or residence, it might not automatically cover you when travelling abroad.
When it comes to having a health insurance in Dubai, it’s not just a smart option for travellers but a mandatory requirement. So, in order to enjoy your stay in the city and the country of UAE, you need to sort out your medical insurance as soon as possible.