Health Tips in Dubai



Healthcare in Dubai

Healthcare facilities in Dubai are at par with those available in Western Europe and America; however, most people prefer to seek specialised treatment in London or American cities. Dubai's public healthcare system provides free and low-cost healthcare to its nationals and extends the same to expatriates who require a health card to avail of the facilities. Tourists must ensure they have adequate health insurance, but they have access to state emergency services irrespective of whether they are insured. 

The country's small population has a variety of public and private healthcare facilities to choose from. The hospitals and clinics are manned by local doctors and staff and some foreign doctors and healthcare professionals who have been trained in their home countries. 


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Hospitals & Clinics

Scan the yellow pages and telephone directories to get a list of hospitals and clinics (general practitioner's surgery) to begin with and then show it to your friends and colleagues to get a recommendation. Public and private hospitals together with the military establishments boast of medical facilities ranging from luxurious to acceptable. Costs for treatment and accommodation vary depending on whether the hospital facilities are modest or luxurious. All major hospitals and clinics are open 24 hours a day, and Arabic and English are both widely spoken.

Medicines & Pharmacies

Dubai has some pharmacies that are denoted by a green cross and are well stocked with medical supplies and are open 9:30 am to 1 pm and from 4:30 to 8:30 pm or later, Saturdays to Thursdays. It is possible to purchase prescription and non-prescription drugs at these pharmacies. Medicines for a cough, cold, painkillers and eye drops are available at supermarkets across the country. Hospitals have pharmacies operate round the clock. 

Do not forget to carry your prescription and always remember the content and formula as many a time just the brand name would make it difficult to procure it. This is because brand names vary according to manufacturers in different countries. 

The Health Ministry has banned the sale of tranquillizers, anti-depressants and sleeping pills except in the case of very serious mental illnesses.


Dubai is served by excellent doctors from India, Pakistan, Egypt, Europe and the USA. The qualifications of these doctors are scrutinised by the Ministry of Health or by the Ministry of the Interior if attached to a military establishment before they are permitted to practice in the country. A recommendation from friends and colleagues is still the best way to opt for a doctor. A routine diagnostic visit to a doctor costs around 60$ with extra charges for any additional tests while a visit to a specialist could run into hundreds of dollars. House calls and specialist visits are more expensive.

If you are using public healthcare services, then an appearance in person rather than a telephonic appointment is recommended. Surgery hours are 9am and 1pm, and from 5 to 8:30pm and same day appointments can be scheduled. Doctors in the private sector usually give appointments within 24-72 hours of making the request.

Most dentists in Dubai come from Russia, Scandinavia and Britain and have their work rooms and technicians that ensure speedy treatment. Costs for treatment do not vary much due to the element of competition.

Emergency Services

Ambulance services in Dubai are mostly controlled by the police and are used in the event of road accidents. In the case of an emergency, the best way to reach a hospital or medical facility is your transportation. Calling a taxi is the next best thing to do. Always keep a list of emergency numbers you can call and a map of the shortest route to a hospital or medical facility with you. 

Emergency contact numbers

Police 999

Fire 997

Ambulance 998


The American Hospital (04-336-7777)

Al Zahra Private Hospital (06-561-9999)

Dubai Health Authority (04-800-4991) which runs Dubai Hospital, Rashid Hospital, Al Wasl Hospital, blood donation centre, thalassemia centre, fertility centre, and Al Maktoum healthcare centre.

Dubai London Clinic (Tel. 971-4-446 663)

Emirates Hospital (04-349-6666)

Gulf Medical College Hospitals (06-746-3333)

Iranian Hospital (04-344-0250)