UAE law: Are employers obliged to obtain health insurance for their employees?

A new resident of UAE asks KT if they need to contribute for the same


Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 25 Dec 2022, 8:31 AM

Last updated: Sun 25 Dec 2022, 4:13 PM

Question: I recently arrived in the UAE for the first time on an employment visa. I want to know whether the company pays for the health insurance of employees or if I’ve to contribute to my health insurance. Please guide.

Response: Mandatory health insurance is a subject of discretion for the competent authorities at each Emirate of the UAE, as of now. Since you have not mentioned the name of the emirate where you are employed, we assume that you are employed in either Abu Dhabi or Dubai.

In Abu Dhabi

In the emirate of Abu Dhabi, the Law No (23) of 2005 Concerning Health Insurance in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the Implementing Regulation (the “ADHIL”) makes it mandatory for employers to provide health insurance coverage to all their employees and respective family members as well. This is in accordance with Article 5 of the ADHIL which reads as follows:

The employer shall undertake to provide health insurance coverage for all its employees/ workers and their family members including an employee's/ worker's wife and three children under 18 years of age. Every sponsor shall undertake to provide insurance coverage for those sponsored by it who are not covered by the employer. A non-UAE national may not obtain a residence permit or renewal thereof, nor may he be employed, unless after enrollment into the health insurance scheme.

In Dubai

In the emirate of Dubai, Law No 11 of 2013 Concerning Health Insurance in the Emirate of Dubai, which is also called the Dubai Health Insurance Law No 11 of 2013 (DHIL) is the chief legislation governing mandatory health insurance. By the provisions of Article 11 of the DHIL, the ‘sponsors’ of visas are obliged to provide health insurance coverage for the persons sponsored. The full provisions of Article 11 read as follows:

The sponsor shall be obliged of the following:

  • Cover the persons sponsored thereby if they have not been covered by the employer thereof.
  • Bear the cost of such health insurance coverage rather than making the beneficiaries bear such costs.
  • Verify that the health insurance of the persons sponsored thereby is valid for the length of their residence or visiting period.
  • Bear the health services and medical intervention costs in emergencies for any of the persons sponsored thereby if any of them has no health insurance in accordance with the provisions of this Law.
  • Give the persons sponsored thereby the health insurance card.
  • Provide the health insurance policy upon the residence or visiting issuance or renewal of the persons sponsored thereby.
  • Any other obligations specified by the Authority pursuant to the resolutions issued thereby in such concern.

Pursuant to your query, if you are employed in Abu Dhabi or Dubai, the employer or sponsor (as applicable) shall be obliged to obtain health insurance coverage for you, without any monetary contribution from you or deduction from your salary.

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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