Dubai expats face fines if health insurance not purchased

Published:  15 Dec at 6 PM
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Dubai residents and expats are facing fines if they have not registered for health insurance before January 1 next year.

Not complying with Dubai’s new rules on health insurance will hit expats especially hard, as fines aren’t the only punishment for ignoring the emirate’s compulsory health insurance package. Those who fail to get up to date with the new requirement will be unable to get their visas renewed, and may be forced to leave the country.

The basic health cover package is aimed at Dubai residents, expats, employees and their dependents and includes outpatient diagnosis and treatment at local clinics, maternity care and costs, referrals to specialists, surgical and pathology investigations, emergency treatment, surgery and medication. Costs are reasonable, raging from 565 to 650 dirhams, and the mandatory cover can be a useful add-on to expats’ relocation package-based private health insurance.

Another new rule prohibiting the use of cooking gas bottles will now apply to all new buildings in the UAE, with violators losing their building permits. The law is being brought in to reduce the incidence of fires caused by cylinder explosions and gas leakage. All new contractions will need to have either electric cookers or a centralised gas pipe network.

Meanwhile, Bahrain’s new overhaul of its labour market laws are expected to benefit expat women over other expat groups. One major benefit will allow expat women to sponsor their husbands to stay in the kingdom, and another significant reform will allow housewives to take up jobs without the necessity of changing their original sponsors. The moves are expected to benefit the emirate’s economy in that they will bring women’s expertise, talent and working skills into the labour market.
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