Healthcare in the UAE

The discovery of oil in the 1960’s has resulted in massive investment into the regions healthcare systems, which previously had been non-existent, especially outside the towns and cities. Owing to the countries small population and the numerous medical facilities waiting times are incredibly short. The UAE provides a public health service that is free to all residents and expats.

The vast majority of medical staff is foreign nationals themselves, drawn to the country for the monetary benefits.  Among expatriates, common health problems include alcoholism (particularly among bachelors, owing to loneliness and depression) and respiratory problems caused by sand and dust in the air a situation exacerbated by continuous building work in most states. Hard work and long hours in often extreme heat can also affect the immune system and compromise the body’s ability to counter illness. Expatriates, particularly manual workers can suffer sunstroke and sunburn.

Hospitals and clinics

Every town and city in the country has at least one modern health centre or hospital and each tends to possess highly skilled staff and top-end equipment. There is little overcrowding in the nation’s hospitals with major clinics and hospitals being open 24 hours a day. Arabic and English are both widely spoken so language should not prove to be an issue.


Ambulance services exist but this service is usually controlled by the police (and used primarily for road accidents) or by the state hospitals. If you need to get to hospital quickly, the most reliable method is to use your own transport or go by taxi. Even the victims of road accidents, if their injuries aren’t too severe, are often bundled into a car or taxi and taken to hospital. Police and emergency services are sometimes equipped with helicopter services, but these are only used for road accidents, beach accidents involving drowning and evacuations from difficult terrain.

To call an ambulance or other emergency service use 999.