United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates: Travel Health Information

The United Arab Emirates is home to seven emirates, which offer travellers a combination of historical sites and some of the world’s most cutting edge and modern architecture.


The standards for patient care and medical services in the United Arab Emirates may differ from your home country. The United Arab Emirates has a government-funded public healthcare system and an emerging private sector. Both healthcare systems provide a high standard of care.

In the event of a medical emergency, contact your travel health insurance company immediately. Hospitals in the United Arab Emirates typically require upfront payment in cash or credit card, regardless if you have travel health insurance. Evacuation may be required for complex emergencies. Ensure that you have accessible funds to cover upfront fees and adequate travel health insurance, including evacuation. Before you depart, check with your insurer about the extent of their coverage in the United Arab Emirates.

Pharmacies can be privately owned and all require a license to operate. Pharmacists are trained and licensed and all pharmacies are operated under the supervision of a pharmacist. However, the United Arab Emirates has a shortage of pharmacists working at all levels. Prescriptions for medications can be obtained from a doctor and are required for most medications, but medication is often sold over-the-counter.

If you are travelling with medication, check with the United Arab Emirates’ embassy, consulate, or Ministry of Health for details on medication allowances and restrictions. The United Arab Emirates strictly enforces their medication import restrictions and many common substances are prohibited, such as codeine (found in many pain relief and cold and flu medications). If your medication is a psychotropic or narcotic, you can review the United Arab Emirates’ regulations on the International Narcotics Control Board. Note that these sources may provide incomplete or out-of-date information.

Road safety

Roads in the United Arab Emirates are generally well maintained. Seat belts are required for all passengers in a car at all times.

Travelling to United Arab Emirates?

Before you go, check the list of vaccines and relevant health risks for United Arab Emirates. For personalized advice, check out our Travel Health Planner to get health information that’s tailored to all the destinations on your itinerary:

Travel health planner

Need a doctor?

IAMAT-affiliated doctors are available in United Arab Emirates.

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United Arab Emirates At A Glance

Capital: Abu Dhabi

Population: 9.4 million

Official language: Arabic

Time zone: Gulf Standard Time (GST)

Emergency #: 998

Vaccinations required: No

Risk of malaria: No

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