Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid vaccine in UAE: I got the jab in Dubai, and a new lease of life

Hesham Salah
Filed on December 14, 2020 | Last updated on March 19, 2021 at 01.07 pm
Photo by Hesham Salah

Khaleej Times journalist takes jab to end the pandemic year with a smile, welcome 2021 with hope.

Today, December 14, will forever be etched in my memory as a special day as it marks a new beginning. Today is the day I got the Covid-19 vaccine that has been rolled out across the UAE.

China’s Sinopharm vaccine provided by the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) is available at the field hospital in Dubai Parks and Resorts.

I reached the venue at 7am — two hours before the scheduled opening time — and my car was the first in a queue of vehicles with residents wishing to get the jab against Covid-19.

During the two-hour wait, I saw people smile with hope. This was their shot at defeating the pandemic that has claimed 1.61 million lives globally (as on December 14; latest updates here)

Covid vaccine in UAE: I got the jab in Dubai, and a new lease of life (

Road leading to Dubai Parks and Resorts field hospital near Jebel Ali saw a huge queue of vehicles on December 12. Photo by Saman Haziq

15-minute process

The whole process took about 15 minutes. The field hospital was huge, but security guards were stationed at every point to guide us through the process:

>> The hospital opened at exactly 9am and I was ushered in. At the gate, a security guard asked me to hold out my Emirates ID card. I was then given a token.

>> A receptionist asked to see my token and Emirates ID, and he keyed in my details on his computer. I was jubilant and thanked him and his colleagues for helping us take the jab.

>> He then asked me to e-sign a form on a tab. I was then issued a wrist band that had my personal details.

>> I then went into the clinic. A nurse checked my blood pressure, pulse, weight and height, and asked me some questions about my health status, allergies and if I had any illnesses.

>> I then signed a consent form that had all the relevant information in Arabic and English.

>> After this, I met the doctor, who explained everything about the vaccine. She answered all my queries with a smile.

>> I thanked the doctor and went to a third room to get the Covid-19 vaccine from a nurse. The medic asked me how I felt, and I replied: “I am so happy. It has been a very long year, but it will end with a new beginning.” She smiled and said in Arabic: “Alhamdulillah”, which means ‘All praise to God’.

>> “I finally got the vaccine,” I told myself as I went to a fourth room. Another nurse checked my pulse and blood pressure for the last time. I was told that I needed to wait for five minutes and could leave if everything was alright.

UAE takes care of everyone

As I waited, I posted a photo of me taking the vaccine shot so that my friends could see how great the UAE is. This country takes care of all its residents.

Where I am from or what I do for a living, my skin colour, religion ... none of that matters.

Expats from around the world were at the hospital and all of them got the jab for free. They were happy to end 2020 and welcome 2021 with a smile.

Next dose

I will receive the second dose of the vaccine after 21 days and I hope to forget the word ‘coronavirus’ after.

I asked the nurse if I could remove my arm band. He said yes, but I kept it. I will treasure it as a souvenir for the rest of my life.

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