Coversure is one of the world’s top international health insurance brokerage and advisory firms. Our staff is committed to providing you, the prospective policyholder, with all the information you need to select the best health insurance policy to suit your needs at home and abroad. Protecting your health is a priority for everyone, whether individuals, families, companies and groups, or travelers.
The Coversure team knows that those living abroad have unique needs – many of us are expats ourselves! Read below for further information about health insurance and health care in Dubai, or just contact one of our dedicated reps directly by filling in the Free Quote form at the top of this page.
First, a little background on the Emirate of Dubai; Dubai is perhaps the most prominent of the United Arab Emirates, which lies on the Persian Gulf. The emirate’s appetite for skyscraper construction and other ambitious developments is equaled perhaps only by that of China; Dubai’s construction projects are made all the more impressive for their rising out of what was recently mostly a desert land.
Although the city was first settled in the 11th century, it was largely the province of desert nomads, and mountain-dwellers along the border with Oman. Up until the 1930s, Dubai’s most prized export was pearls. The discovery of oil in 1966 changed everything, and one of the world’s great boom-towns was born.
Today, Dubai’s economy has climbed the international value-added chain, and oil exports make up a relatively small percentage of GDP. Dubai is now a regional and global hub for banking, finance, and related professional services. The country’s real estate boom in the early 2000s also captured the world’s attention with outlandish architecture, stratospheric prices, and celebrity endorsers. Perhaps none more famous than the Burj al-Khalifa, currently the world’s tallest building in 2013.
With rapid economic development and an influx of wealthy expatriates has come high demand for quality medical care. Dubai boasts a number of international private hospitals with staff and facilities which would rival some of the top clinics in the world. Leading global universities are setting up campuses and research institutes in the Emirate to train the next generation of practitioners and technicians.
In just a few decades, Dubai transformed from a poor trading outpost full of smugglers and destitution, to one of the greatest concentrations of wealth in the world. One of Dubai’s greatest accomplishments is the improvement of health care and a dramatic gain in life expectancy. Today, the average Emirati has a life expectancy of 76 years, and this figure is climbing. Maternal and infant mortality have plummeted thanks to vast improvements in the provision of health care in Dubai.
From a public health perspective, Emirates have made serious gains in the provision of clean drinking water, no small feat in a desert kingdom surrounded by a saltwater gulf! Thanks to intensive investments in education and training, Dubai has one of the highest proportions of health care professionals per capita in the Middle East. Dubai is regarded as having the highest quality of life in the region, faring very well on global comparisons, too.
An unfortunate byproduct of Dubai’s increased wealth is an increase in the diseases of affluence. The UAE has one of the fastest growing obesity rates in the world, and this has become a serious public health concern. Although alcohol use is traditionally less common than in western countries, smoking rates are very high (albeit lower than their Middle Eastern neighbors).
Visitors and expatriates will be faced with unique health challenges in Dubai. Typhoid immunizations are recommended for those seeking culinary adventure. Drink only bottled water while in the Emirates. Dubai is outside the malaria zone, but bug bites can be an issue – use an insect repellent with DEET.
Perhaps the greatest threat to health to visitors to Dubai comes from the climate. Temperatures can reach as high as 50 degrees Celsius – which feels even hotter in direct sunlight on blacktop or sand. Protect yourself against heatstroke by staying indoors during midday, and drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding alcohol. Using high SPF-rated sunscreen is suggested, as well as wearing loose light, flowing clothes. In addition, sandstorms do occur in Dubai, though infrequently. Should this occur and you are stuck outdoors, use a wet cloth to cover your mouth and nose if possible.
Auto accidents are also a major issue. Gasoline is cheap, and Emiratis drive expensive powerful cars. Drive defensively and obey the local rules of the road. Buckle your seat belt and never drink and drive – there are stiff penalties in Dubai, even if the practice seems unfortunately common.
As an expatriate in Dubai, you may have some limited coverage for emergency care in local government-run hospitals. Health care in the Emirate’s privately run clinics can become expensive, so an international health insurance plan is recommended to protect your health, and that of your family, company, or group.
A large proportion of expats and travelers in Dubai will also visit third countries (in addition to the Emirates and their home country). Hence, it is very important to select a plan with the geographic reach that you require. The Coversurance team has worked with expatriates seeking health insurance for over a decade – most of our staff is living away from home themselves.
If you have any questions about your requirements for an international health insurance plan, or claims assistance with your existing plan, and are seeking unbiased advice on your best coverage options, contact the team at Coversurance today. We look forward to assisting you with any questions or concerns you may have.
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