If you are planning to have a baby in Dubai, having the proper health insurance is more or less a necessity, as the costs during and after the pregnancy are significant. Health insurance, in most cases, is provided by employers, but maternity coverage is not always included.
If you are working, and are covered by a company health plan (or if you are covered under your husband’s company’s health insurance plan), it is very important to go through the policy thoroughly to make sure of what is and is not included in the coverage.
It is extremely important to know the extent of your coverage so that the pregnancy can progress smoothly, without any nasty financial surprises later on!
Depending on the type of insurance policy you have, you could opt for a new maternity insurance policy or, in some cases, it might make more financial sense to opt for a maternity package which can work out to be more economical. No matter what type of coverage you have or intend to get, here are just some of the important issues to consider before you narrow in on a particular insurance company or package:
- Check how many months the insurance needs to be valid before you can get pregnant. You usually need to apply for insurance up to a year in advance of getting pregnant. If you are pregnant in Dubai and uninsured, the insurance company can add a significant amount to the premium of your existing policy to cover maternity costs.
- Check which clinics and hospitals are included in the coverage, and whether you are comfortable with them.
- Check which tests are covered and how many (like ultrasounds, etc.), and also how many gynecological visits are covered.
- Look at the worst case scenario – what happens if you face complications during the pregnancy? What does the insurance policy or package cover?
- Make sure that the maternity coverage includes both natural as well as C-section deliveries.
- Which hospitals are covered for delivery, and are you happy with these?
- Are you covered for C-sections and pain relief during these if necessary?
- Does the insurance cover any extra care you might require for your baby?
- Check how long you and the baby can remain at the hospital, and the extent of post-natal care covered under the policy.
If you are uninsured and pregnant in Dubai, consider applying for a Dubai Health Card. This is recommended even if you do have good insurance because it allows you to utilize a government hospital in the case of an emergency (such as premature birth etc.). More information on the Health Card can be found at the Government of Dubai’s website.
Maternity Package costs
Many hospitals in Dubai provide antenatal and maternity packages that usually include the care you will need (including essential tests, scans, and doctor’s visits) at a more reasonable cost than per visit.
Antenatal package prices can vary depending on the stage of pregnancy you are in at the time of buying the package. Both private and government hospitals in Dubai are reputable, but private hospitals are definitely more expensive.
Government hospitals are generally better equipped to deal with emergency situations; there are several government hospitals all across Dubai, so choose one that is close to where you live. Documents required if you are planning to go with a government hospital are: a valid Dubai Health Card, marriage certificate, and passport copies for both the husband and wife. The cost of antenatal packages can range from AED 4000 – AED 7000.
Normal delivery packages can range from AED 7000 (at most government hospitals) to AED 13,000 at private hospitals for a routine birth without complications, using in-house doctors. Extra nights in the hospital, extra care required during and after pregnancy, and medical complications will all cost extra. If you choose to bring your own doctor, you will need to pay his fees for the delivery separately.
Caesarean delivery packages are usually double that of a normal delivery, and can cost up to AED 25,000. They typically include fees for the operation theater, lab investigations, hospital stay for a stipulated amount of time, pediatric consultation, as well as baby screening and vaccination. They do not include charges for epidurals, twin deliveries, circumcisions, stem cell collection, or use of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which usually costs extra.
Below are links to the most popular maternity packages offered by Dubai’s private and government hospitals.
Mediclinic City Hospital
Mediclinic City Hospital provides two antenatal packages at 12 weeks and 28 weeks into the pregnancy, and they also offer antenatal classes that cover preparing for birth as well as labor and birthing. They offer a variety of delivery packages for normal and caesarian delivery with in-house doctors and independent doctors, as well as many other packages including an emergency package.
Details for these can be found here.
Al Zahra private hospital
Al Zahra private hospital is also open to hypnobirthing and other unconventional methods of delivery. All the required details about the antenatal, normal, and C-section deliveries can be found here.
American Hospital, Dubai
A popular choice with many expats, the American Hospital provides high standard, quality American healthcare with a variety of maternity packages, which can be found here.
Latifa Hospital (formerly Al Wasl Hospital)
One of Dubai’s most popular government hospitals, Latifa Hospital is well known for its specialized services and well equipped pediatric department, with a 34-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
More information on their maternity packages can be found here.
International Modern Hospital
IMH offers three antenatal packages at 12, 28, and 34 weeks – ranging in price from AED 2,500 to AED 5,000 – as well as three delivery packages including Normal Delivery, Instrumental Delivery, and Caesarian Delivery, ranging in price from AED 10,000 to AED 20,000.
More detail can be found here.