Dubai contains well equipped public and private hospitals.
Remarkably, the UAE was one of only two countries with no reported cases of holiday illnesses recorded in a survey by the leading British consumer magazine, Holiday Which? This is a tribute to the success of government immunization programs, the provision of adequate clean water and high standards of cleanliness in hotels and restaurants.
No special immunizations are required, however it would be wise to check beforehand if you are traveling from a health-risk area. Tetanus inoculations are usually recommended if you are considering a long trip. Polio has been virtually eradicated in the UAE and hepatitis is very rare and can be avoided by taking precautions. Hepatitis A is transmitted by contaminated food and water, Hepatitis B, C, D through sexual contact, the use of unsterilized needles and blood transfusions.
There are very few mosquitoes in the towns and cities and, since it is not considered to be a risk, malaria tablets are rarely prescribed for travel in the UAE. However, mosquitoes will find you if you are camping near the mountains or exploring wadis or date groves in the evening, so cover up and use a suitable insect repellent as it is always safer to avoid being bitten. If you are in any doubt consult your doctor or your nearest tropical medical centre before your trip.
The sun can be fierce throughout the year so heatstroke and heat exhaustion are always a risk. Adequate sunglasses, hats and high factor sun creams are essential, especially for children.
Only emergency cases at the A&E Public hospitals can be seen free of charge.
Public hospitals, where the medical facilities are very good, will deal with emergencies free of charge, however it would be wise to take out medical insurance to cover all eventualities, especially if you need to attend a private hospital or clinic where treatment can be quite expensive. In all instances, medical procedures, including the use of sterilized needles and the provision of blood transfusions are very reliable.
If you need a doctor, ask at your hotel, or at the General Medical Centre, as well as ringing your embassy for recommendations. If you need emergency treatment and are unable to contact a doctor, try one of the major hospitals listed below.
Most medicines are readily available at pharmacies. Each emirate has at least one pharmacy open 24 hours a day. Check in local newspapers for information. In some emirates a 24-hour municipality emergency number (Abu Dhabi 02 777 929; Dubai 04 2232323) lists the locations of open chemists.
Good dentists are readily available, including orthodontists.
Chinese medicine is readily available. There is also a homeopathic hospital.
Ambulance service 998 or 999
Main Public hospitals in Dubai:
- Al Wasl Hospital – Qud Metha Road
- New Dubai Hospital – Near the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Deira
- Rashid Hospital – Oud Metha Road, Bur Dubai
Main Private hospitals in Dubai:
- American Hospital Dubai – Bur Dubai
- Emirates Hospital – Jumeirah Beach Road
- Welcare Hospital – Garhoud, Deira