Health insurance in Dubai: Should the employer bear staff's premium costs?

A KT reader wants to know if his family members will also be provided coverage by his sponsors


Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 29 Jan 2023, 10:22 AM

Last updated: Sun 29 Jan 2023, 8:12 PM

Question: I will be taking up a job in a mainland Dubai company shortly. I understand I will be working on a standard two-year visa. Please clarify who is to bear the costs of medical insurance for myself and my family.

Response: Pursuant to your queries, the provisions of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations (the ‘Employment Law’) and those of Law No. 11 of 2013 Concerning Health Insurance in the Emirate of Dubai (the 'Dubai Health Insurance Law') are applicable.

In the UAE, an employer is obligated to provide health insurance to its employees. This is in accordance with Article 13 (8) and (9) of the Employment Law, which states, "The Employer shall:

(8) Bear healthcare costs in accordance with the legislation in force in the UAE.

(9) Bear the costs of insurances, contributions and securities specified by the legislation in force."

Further, the Dubai Health Insurance Law stipulates the obligations of the employer. Article 10 of the Dubai Health Insurance Law states: “The employer shall be obliged of the following:

1. Cover the employees thereof by health insurance in accordance with the health insurance policy applicable thereby, providing to comply with the provisions of this Law and the resolutions issued pursuant thereto.

2. Bear the costs for such health insurance coverage rather than making the beneficiaries bear such costs.

3. Verify that the health insurance of the employees thereof is valid for the length of their work period at the employer.

4. Bear the health services and medical intervention costs in emergencies for any of the employees thereof if any of them has no health insurance in accordance with the provisions of this Law.

5. Give the employees thereof the health insurance card.

6. Provide the health insurance policy upon the residence issuance or renewal of the employees thereof.

7. Any other obligations specified by the Authority pursuant to the resolutions issued thereby in such concern.”

Based on the aforementioned provisions of law, your employer is obligated to bear the costs of your medical insurance. However, if your family members’ visas are sponsored by you, then you are obligated to bear the cost of their medical health insurance. This is in accordance with Article 11 of the Dubai Health Insurance Law.

In the UAE, certain employers provide medical insurance facilities to the family members of the employees. Therefore, you may check with your prospective employer about this.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.


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