Healthcare in Abu Dhabi



More than 70% of the city’s 2.1 million inhabitants are expatriates. The median age for nationals remains young at 19 while the expatriates, being composed mostly of migrant workers, range from 20 to 40 years old on average.

The birth rate for Abu Dhabi nationals has been declining and is now 2.3 births per woman. This change is attributed to the city's urbanization, later age of marriage, and a change in attitude towards family size. On a positive note, death rates are on a continuous decline as well, especially for infants. According to the World Health Organization, it has decreased from 15 to 8 per 1000 live births for children under the age of five.

The rate of communicable diseases is low, and expatriates must undergo screening before they are given residency status. Abu Dhabi's biggest challenge though is the increase in chronic diseases related to lifestyles such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular illnesses. In response to this, the city's Health Authority is intensifying awareness programs for all nationalities regarding these diseases.

The leading cause of death in Abu Dhabi relates to cardiovascular diseases while the most common non-life threatening illnesses relate to respiratory diseases. A daunting 68% of injuries incurred by patients are due to road or traffic related incidents.

Abu Dhabi has 37 hospitals, 389 health centers, 196 doctor's clinics, and 431 pharmacies and stores, making healthcare service conveniently accessible to city dwellers from nearly anywhere.

The city boasts 2.3 million signed health insurance contracts to date, more than the number of residents, with 33 licensed insurers offering quality international health insurance.

Public Healthcare for Expats

In response to the growing needs of the growing population of the city of Abu Dhabi, through a decree by Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan as president of the U.A.E, Law No. 23 or the Abu Dhabi Health Insurance Regulation Bill was enacted.

The law specifically covers expatriates and their families who are residents of Abu Dhabi. Based on this law, enrollment under the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi's (HAAD) insurance scheme is obligatory for expats. Expats are not given resident permits and are not able to renew existing permits if they are not subscribed to this health insurance scheme.

The law requires all employers and sponsors to provide health insurance to expatriates who are either working or residing in Abu Dhabi. This law also includes health coverage for an employee's wife and up to three children under 18 years of age. The employer/sponsor is required to cover the expenses of providing health coverage to the employee; passing this burden to the employee or dependents is considered a violation of the law.

The basic coverage under this scheme is comprehensive and includes the following: medical examination, treatment, primary healthcare, laboratory tests and x-rays, in-patient stay and treatments in hospitals, dental and gum treatment, medications required for treatment, and even accommodation for one escort in critical cases.

Employers are required to provide either of these three basic policies: Basic Product Policy, which is for people with a monthly salary of over or equal to 3000 AED (Emirati Dirham) plus housing allowance of about 4000 AED; Emergency Policy, for visitors or those with visit visas and provided by their corresponding sponsors; Enhanced Policy, which applies to everyone who does not fall within the first two categories. The annual limit is 250,000 AED per individual/dependent.

In Abu Dhabi, expats not only enjoy the year-round sunny blue skies, luxurious hotels and beaches, and a good paying job - they also take pleasure in having quality healthcare coverage at no charge.


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