Dubai has shot to prominence in recent years as one of the world’s top tourism destinations, and small wonder, as when it comes to man-made wonders, it has a staggering amount! From mega-sized malls offering more masses of shopping outlets, salons, and even street-food to fine dining opportunities, to indoor skiing on real snow when the temperature outside is in the 40’s, it’s a fun-filled, far-flung holiday hotspot.

But what travel insurance should you select for your trip to this modern metropolis? This blog explores the options.

Do I need travel insurance in Dubai and the UAE?

Like many other countries, there are two real considerations when deciding if you need travel insurance for Dubai: what’s compulsory and what’s advisable. In terms of mandatory requirement, the coronavirus pandemic prompted the UAE government to make it compulsory for all visitors to have travel insurance incorporating Covid-19 cover. Still focused on health aspects but turning to what’s advisable, aside from the risk posed by Covid-19, it’s important to note that visitors aren’t eligible for access to free medical treatment in Dubai. It’s therefore strongly advised to take out comprehensive travel insurance so that you aren’t met with any bills in the event of an unexpected illness or accident.

Aside from health coverage, is there anything else I should look out for?

Dubai is renowned for being one of the world’s safest cities, with little to no crime. So, whilst the risk of theft of your possessions is incredibly low, there is always that chance that you could lose or damage one of your personal possessions : or that your luggage could get lost or damaged in transit, so travel insurance would be useful for that. In addition, there is always the possibility that your flight is delayed, altered or cancelled altogether, and most travel insurance policies include coverage in such events.

How much is travel insurance for Dubai?

Dubai is located in the Middle East and as such you’ll need a worldwide travel insurance policy. Such policies tend to have higher medical insurance limits than other more regional equivalents, so you can expect to pay more than a policy just covering the Schengen (European zone), for example.

The cost of your policy will depend on the extent of cover needed, the planned activities you have when you get there, the length of your trip, and any personal circumstances that could influence the risk insurers are carrying. For example, if you have a pre-existing medical condition you can expect to pay more than the standard price.

What is typically covered in travel insurance for Dubai?

You can expect a Dubai travel insurance policy to typically cover:

  • Medical costs – falling ill or being injured whilst away is not only worrying but potentially costly so most policies provide high-level medical benefits for treatment, and repatriation (flight home). Dubai has an excellent standard of healthcare, but this may not be extended to you if you don’t have a valid insurance policy.
  • Luggage & personal possessions – cover is provided for luggage that is lost, stolen or damaged up to a specified limit. In addition, policies generally have a single item limit – put simply, the maximum the insurer will pay out for a single item – something to bear in mind if your laptop, mobile phone, camera or jewellery is high value. You might want to check your household contents policy
  • Delayed departures & missed flights – whilst some policies offer some cover for these events, it’s always advisable to check the policy carefully as there may be cover restrictions.
  • Cancellation costs – most policies provide cover for trip cancellation and curtailment (your trip being cut unexpectedly short) as a standard coverage, but always check the limits, as well as the applicable terms and conditions as these can vary from insurer to insurer.
  • Covid-19 – to protect you for cancellation, medical expenses, repatriation and extended stays as a result of covid. Get a travel insurance quote with us and you can compare the levels of covid cover available. Just look for the ‘more details’ option on the quote results page.

Are there circumstances I may not be covered for when using my travel insurance in Dubai?

Dubai has so much to see and do, and it’s fast-becoming a destination for adrenaline junkies seeking extreme sports, as well as those more conventional ones, like golf. So, if you’re planning to participate in such activities like ziplining in the Marina or the mountains north of Dubai, skydiving over the sea or dune bashing in the desert, you might not be covered. Always check your travel insurance policy to see what’s covered, what’s not and what extensions are available.

The UAE has strict laws surrounding drugs and alcohol and you’ll need to be mindful of these. If you have an accident or fall ill whilst under the influence of either, you won’t be covered for medical treatment under your travel insurance in the UAE and could also run into trouble with the police, so something to bear in mind.

Anything else I should consider when comparing Dubai travel insurance policies?

Dubai is a place where people dress to impress so no doubt you’ll be packing a lot from home! It’s also a place where you can shop til you drop, so you may be lured into purchasing some gold, gadgets and luxury goods which you’ll be packing on the way home! It’s advisable to think about these factors when looking at the level of baggage cover you’ll need.

Travelling for business rather than pleasure? Dubai is an international business hub so more and more trips are for this reason. If you’re a business traveller, you might want a travel insurance policy that’s more tailored to your specific travel needs, so carefully check your must-haves and make sure you’re covered. Missing an important meeting due to delays or losing your laptop are two risks you’ll want to consider.

Get insured with the correct travel insurance in Dubai, and you’ll be assured of a great time in this desert destination!

About Author

Rachel Al Mughairi

About Author

With over 34 years in the international insurance industry in a variety of senior management roles, and as holder of the Diploma in Insurance from the Chartered Insurance Institute, Rachel surely knows her insurance! With experience in London, continental Europe and the Middle East, Rachel is here to share her knowledge and help you understand more about insurance products in this easy-to-understand series of videos and blogs.