Generally, emergency treatment in government hospitals is free. Any follow up treatment may be charged and can be expensive. If you use a private hospital, make sure you have a UAE medical card and/or comprehensive medical insurance.
For information on accessing healthcare in the UAE, visit the healthcare section of the official portal of the UAE Government.
For a list of Government hospitals and clinics, see the UAE Ministry of Health website.
Some medications available over the counter or by prescription in Australia aren't readily available in the UAE or are considered to be illegal or controlled substances, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
This includes medication:
• containing Codeine, Valium or Ritalin
• designed to treat HIV/AIDS
• designed to treat hepatitis
You can be detained, deported or prevented from entering the country for carrying such medication.
• check if your medication is legal in the UAE by contacting the Embassy or Consulate-General of the United Arab Emirates
• get medical documents authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade before you depart (if required)
Even if your medication isn't on the list of illegal or controlled medications, carry:
• a copy of your prescription
• a letter from your doctor
• all medication in its original packaging
This applies for any medication that can be detected in your system.
Check the UAE Embassy's website for the full list of illegal and controlled medication, and the additional documents you need. Medication on this website is listed by generic name, which may not be the name by which it's known in Australia. Check your medication's generic name with your doctor or pharmacist before departing. You can also contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate-General of the United Arab Emirates.
Cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been reported in a number of countries in the Middle East, including the UAE.
Water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases occur from time to time. Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering diarrhoea.
Dust and sandstorms can exacerbate respiratory issues.
Red algae or red tide, which can cause skin and eye irritations and breathing problems, may affect beaches from time to time. Don't swim in affected water.