Medical tests in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, UAE
UAE and Dubai residence visa medical test and fitness certificate procedure, pre-employment medical test. Blood test and X-ray for HIV-Aids, Hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis (TB), leprosy, syphilis, pregnancy.
All expat residents in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, and other UAE emirates are required to go for a series of health and medical checks as part of their UAE residence visa application process. They must do the tests in the UAE at a government medical facility, not a private one. Results from tests done in other countries are not accepted. If an HIV/AIDS medical screening test is positive then the residence visa application is denied and the person is deported. Other positive test results might result in a combination of treatment, quarantine, deportation, or a combination.
Residence Visa and work permit process is in this order:
- Apply for a job in Dubai > interview > job offer > accept offer (sign contract) > company applies for employment entry permit (employment visa) > arrive in UAE > pre-employment medical test > labour card and work permit application > residence visa application.
Medical fitness test procedure for a job in Dubai
When you arrive in the UAE, if your company is on the ball they will explain to you what you need to do, and the PRO will arrange when and where you need to go for the medical test, and hold your hand if you're really lucky. If you're on your own, do this:
- Collect the following documents to bring with you:
- Original passport with valid entry visa, and copy of information and visa pages. Normally an employment entry visa but test can be done with tourist or visit visa also. Also a copy of residence visa page if you are renewing your visa. Colored copies are specified but applications with black and white copies seem to be accepted.
- Two (2) recent passport size photos (dimensions 3.5cm width x 4.5 cm height). Less than 3 months old specified but unknown how they check, probably fine as long as it looks like you on the day you go.
- Government issued health card if you have one.
- Health card number if you have one. If you don't have one, you can go to the DHA website and apply for a temporary number online, but it might not be necessary if doing the test when applying for a new visa.
- For visa renewal bring labour card and/or Emirates ID card and/or another UAE government issued ID card.
- Employment offer letter or contract if you have one. Usually only needed for applicants still on a tourist or visit visa.
- Visit a medical fitness test center (see table below for locations). Some centers have restrictions on who can attend, so check carefully.
- Busy times at centers are early mornings until afternoon. Late afternoon is less busy, or go to the 24 hr center in Muhaisnah after midnight, but not after you've been to the pub.
- It is possible to apply and pay online at the DHA website but you can't do the test online - the DHA website will not stick a needle in your arm for blood or give you an X-ray. So most people just go to the center and pay there. Your employer is supposed to pay the fees as part of the sponsorship process.
- You don't need to pay cash if your company has a corporate account at the DHA. You'll know if that's the case.
- Official information does not mention any tests for drugs, alcohol, or DNA analysis. But to be safe it's probably a good idea not to drink or take drugs before going for the test. Nothing you can do if you think DNA analysis is performed and it bothers you, except find a job in another country or change what you believe.
- When test is complete, don't forget to make a copy of the test results for your reference. The company employing you will probably take your original.
Medical Fitness Test centers in Dubai
For most people doing a standard test (not express or VIP), go to the medical center in Muhaisanah (open 24 hrs weekdays). Women can also go to the Rashidiyah center. If you want express service, go to Muhaisnah or Karama. For VIP, go to the Al Safa clinic (or possibly the one at Knowledge Village).
- Tel 800-342 (800-DHA) (toll-free in UAE) to get information about opening times, closest center to you, fees, etc. Don't be afraid, they are helpful.
- Table below lists DHA centers for the medical fitness test for Dubai residence visas. Updated Jan 2014. Location maps on DHA website.
- Express fast-track or urgent services are available at most or all medical fitness centers. Pay more money to get the tests done faster - 4 hrs, 24 hrs, or 48 hrs. Normal processing time for regular or standard service is 5 working days.
- 4 hr express service only available at Karama, Muhaisnah, Satwa (closed) centers. VIP service only at KV and Satwa.
- Most centers have standard (5 days), 24 hrs, and 48 hrs service available. If you choose the 48 hr package and go in the morning, results might be available next day afternoon.
- Prices are (Jan 2014): AED 260 for standard, AED 370 for 48 hrs, AED 470 for 24 hrs, AED 690 for 4 hrs or VIP. Add AED 50 for female household domestic staff (for pregnancy test). Add AED 35 delivery fee (whether you collect yourself or have it delivered).
|Airport Medical Clinic
||Dubai Airport staff only. Closed Sat. No express service?
|Al Bada'a Health Center
||Sheikh Zayed Rd
||Housemaids only, in local area? Closed Sat.
|Al Khawaneej Health Centre
||Housemaids only, in local area? Closed Sat.
|Al Lusaily Health Center
||Al Ain Road
||Open Mon, Wed only. Housemaids only, in local area?
|Al Mankhool Health Center
||Housemaids only, in local area? Closed Sat.
|Al Muhaisanah - see Muhaisana
|Al Quoz Medical Fitness Center7
||Al Quoz Ind 3
||Closed Sat. Corporate only (see notes)?
|Al Safa Health Center2
||Executive employees, VIP service only. Sat 0800-1300.
|Al Satwa Medical Center - see Satwa
|Al Twar Health Center (Al Towar)
||Housemaids only, in local area? Closed Sat.
|Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority
||DXB Terminal 2
||DAFZA and Silicon Oasis Authority staff only. Closed Sat.
|Dubai International Financial Center³
||DIFC employees only. Sat closed.
|Dubai Knowledge Village Clinic4
||TECOM - DIC
||TECOM employees and executive VIP only. Closed Sat.
|Emirates Airline (EK)5
||EK employees only. Closed Sat. No express service?
|Jebel Ali Health Center
||JAFZA and clients staff only. Closed Sat.
|Karama Medical Fitness Center
||Opp Post Office
||Not housemaids. Express packages only. Open 09 Jun 2013.
|Muhaisnah Medical Fitness Center
||Fri closed, Sat 0800-2200. Al Ghusais (Qusais), Sonapur area.
|Occupational Health Center
||Not in list provided Jan 2014. Closed?
|Rashidiya Medical Fitness Center6
||Females only. Closed Sat.
|Satwa Medical Fitness Center8
||Not males unless express. Closed from 05 Jun 2013.
||Cost AED 1010 plus Medical Fitness fees.
- Assume opening times are for Sunday to Thursday unless other information is available. Some centers open Saturday with shorter opening hours.
- For VIP employees (or executive employees) only - higher fees and faster processing times. Definition of "Executive" not provided, but it sounds like anyone who is willing to pay the higher fees for medical testing. Tel number given as +971-4-5021400? Updated tel number is +971-4-3955122. Location is behind Safa Park Choithrams and Union Co-op on Al Athar St.
- For employees of DIFC only. Tel was +971-4-4289210? Updated to +971-4-4289211. Location in DIFC Block 2. DIFC package costs AED 350.
- For TECOM sponsored workers - Dubai Internet City (DIC), Dubai Knowledge Village (DKV, or KV), Dubai Media City (DMC). Tel number was +971-4-3911111, updated to +971-4-4347332. Packages available are standard, VIP, and student? Not express packages.
- Emirates Airline medical fitness center tel given as +971-4-7081637? Seems odd, not confirmed. Location in Emirates Airline HQ? Or in Terminal 1 at Dubai Airport?
- For women only. Rashidiya is the first dedicated female medical fitness center in Dubai (opening announced in press release 20 July 2011). Rashidiya center is near the Rashidiya post office. Opening times updated from 0700-1400 to 0800-1300.
- Al Quoz medical fitness center tel given as +971-4-45022401 but looks incorrect (too many digits). Information says only for corporate accounts but telephone enquiry said possible for individuals on their own - perhaps we misunderstood.
- Al Satwa center information says "temporarily closed for renovation", it was closed from 05 Jun 2013, and the Karama center opened 09 Jun 2013. Al Satwa center is still closed as of Jan 2014? But a report 09 Jul 2013 said the Al Satwa Center "has been closed permanently", source might be Al Ittihad newspaper (not confirmed by DHA).
- Tawajod service comes to you for the medical test, or blood collection. Don't panic, the service is not staffed by vampires. Tel +971-4-5023968 or mobile +971-55-5061531 to make an appointment. Test results in 2 days?
- List of Medical Fitness Test Centre locations in Dubai is (14 as of end 2010): Al Badaa (Al Bada'a), Al Khawaneej, Al Lisili (Al Liseili), Al Mankhool, Al Safa, Al Tawar (Al Twar), Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA), Dubai International Airport, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Emirates Airline HQ, Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ), Knowledge Village, Muhaisnah (Muhaisna), Satwa (only for familes, females, and urgent 24hr or 48hr applications from 12 June 2011).
- New medical centers expected to open in Al Quoz and Rashidiya during 2011 (28 Dec 2010 press release).
- Centers greyed out are under development, planned facilities, or closed.
- 30 Jan 2014 - table entries added: Al Quoz, DAFZA, Emirates Airline, Karama, Jebel Ali, Satwa (but is still closed?).
Medical testing services for residency visas will no longer be offered by the Dubai Municipality Clinic (DM Clinic) from 01 January 2011, and instead will be offered by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) (tel hotline 800-342). Issuance of occupational health cards for food handlers, salon workers, beauticians, barbers, nursery and kindergarten staff, health club and fitness center employees will also be taken over by the DHA (Khaleej Times 30 November 2010).
07 October 2010 update to new medical test law in UAE
UAE Cabinet Decision Number 28 of 2010 published in the official gazette regarding the new medical tests. Note that table below is our understanding only, and might not be correct, especially as there seem to be conflicting reports about some tests and outcomes. Check with immigration department for official information.
It is not clear if UAE visa applicants who have previously failed a medical test for positive Hepatitis results (B or C) can reapply for a residence visa under the new laws. If you know you have not been blacklisted then you can probably try again and be successful this time around. However, if you have been blacklisted then you will probably have to get yourself removed from the blacklist, which might or might not be impossible. One method according to some reports is to ask someone in the UAE to bring the result of the failed medical test and passport copy to a medical clinic in Dubai (or another emirate), and ask them to apply to immigration to have the ban removed. Or try contacting a medical clinic from overseas (telephone or email) to see if they will accept a fax or scanned copy of the documents, but a friend visiting the center is more likely to be successful. Alternatively, contact a UAE embassy in your country of residence to enquire about the procedure.
||If Positive Result
||Treatment then deportation
- AIDS/HIV: All new and renewal residence visa applicants tested. Deportation if found positive.
- Hepatitis B: Conflicting reports. Tested for only six categories of workers¹ for new visa and maybe visa renewals. Question marks about whether those found positive are (1) treated permitted to stay, (2) treated and deported, or (3) not treated but deported. All three scenarios reported in various publications. For example, Khaleej Times 09 October 2010 reports Test is limited to new arrivals ... for the following six categories ... Residence or labour residence or renewal of visa shall not be granted to positive cases ... If the results show negative, the above mentioned six categories should take the vaccine on arrival. So are positive cases treated or deported?
- Hepatitis C: No longer tested for anyone.
- Leprosy: New resident visa applicants tested and deported if found positive. Some reports said visa renewals would be tested (eg Al Khaleej), other reports said they wouldn't (eg Khaleej Times). Confusion reigns (as usual).
- Pregnancy: Foreigners employed as baby sitters, drivers (females), or house maids would also have pregnancy test. If positive, then the employer must provide a letter of no objection before residence visa is granted. Unknown what happens to workers who are unmarried and pregnant - an arrest and jail sentence is possible or likely.
- Syphilis: Only six categories of workers tested¹, and treated if found positive, but not deported (unless also testing positive for a deportable illness).
- Tuberculosis (TB): New resident expatriates will be tested for tuberculosis (TB), and denied a residence visa and deported if results are positive. TB sufferers are treated first before deportation at the Muhaisnah Medical Center in Dubai. If treatment takes longer than 2 months, they are transferred to Rashid Hospital infectious diseases ward. Expats renewing resident visas are not tested for TB. Khaleej Times reported 09 October 2010 that those with HIV and tuberculosis are deported and can come back to the country only after six months and if completely cured. Doesn't make sense for HIV as that is not curable as far as we know. Check with immigration before assuming that being cleared of TB means a reapplication is permitted.
- Medical test fees are
- AED 250 for AIDS, hepatitis B, tuberculosis, leprosy and syphilis
- AED 50 for pregnancy test
- AED 50 for hepatitis vaccination
- AED 200 for authentication of health insurance for private sector workers
- AED 500 for authentication of Emirati agent's 3-year card for companies with 10 or more employees
- AED 1,000 for expatriate agent's card for 1 year
- Non-UAE relatives of Emirati nationals are exempted from the medical fitness examinations and tests - spouses, children, parents were mentioned but unclear if exemption extends to siblings or further removed relatives.
- New expatriate workers in the categories of babysitters, housemaids, nursery and kindergarten employees, employees at barber shops, health clubs and restaurants would also be tested for HIV AIDS and Hepatitis B, and deported if results are positive, or treated in the case of Hep B. Maybe also other food outlets, coffee shops, food suppliers. New rules reportedly said "These groups must undergo hepatitis tests when they apply for new visa or renewal of their visas ... those found infected will be deported."
- Fee estimate of AED 50 per test not confirmed. Press reports were total fee AED 250 for 5 diseases (unless it was AED 250 per test - we hope not).
- Employee categores: babysitters, drivers (female), housemaids (and presumably any other "servant" worker category - includes nannies).
19 August 2010 - new expatriate medical test laws in UAE
The law has been changed and for most applicants, Hepatitis B (for most applicants) and Hepatitis C are no longer tested. Details of the tests are:
- Hepatitis B - tested for new visa applicants. For visa renewals, only some worker categories are tested¹. Conflicting statements reported regarding whether or not positive tests result in denial of residence visa and deportation but it appears that the intention is that those tested positive receive treatment and a certificate, to be shown at visa renewal time.
- Hepatitis C - usually deportation if found positive no longer to be tested as of 19 August 2010 news.
- HIV/AIDS - immediate deportation if found positive, all new and renewal visa applicants tested.
- Leprosy - deported immediately? Unknown if deportation still applies, but only new visa applicants tested as of August 2010 news.
- Syphilis - treatment given but applicant not deported.
- TB - Tuberculosis chest X-ray. If tested positive, person is held in isolation in a detention center for treatment then deported. Deportation still applies for pulmonary TB, but not for extra-pulmonary TB or pneumonia. Apparently. Only new visa applicants tested as of 19 August 2010 news. Visa renewal applicants no longer tested.
- Pregnancy test for maids, servants, nannies - rumoured, not confirmed Confirmed as of 19 August 2010 news (was already in the 2008 law change according to some reports). Sponsor given choice whether or not to continue with visa application if maid is pregnant. If an unmarried maid is discovered to be pregnant, she might be in trouble since courts use pregnancy as evidence of sex, and having sex with someone you are not married to is a crime in the UAE. Unknown how the courts treat someone who claims to be pregnant as a result of having had sex in another country.
- Worker categories tested for Hep B at visa renewal time include barbers and hairdressers, beauty salon staff, food handling staff (presumably includes waiters and waitresses, cooks, chefs, and other kitchen staff, etc), health club staff, kindergarten supervisors, maids, nannies, nursery supervisors, and apparently something called "foot catering workers" (probably a typo for "food" in the 19 August 2010 WAM news release).
UAE Medical Test changes 19 August 2010
19 August 2010: UAE Ministry of Health announcement of revision to medical test rules for expatriates. Some conflicting reports about whether or not some diseases are still deportable (Hepatitis B, TB, and leprosy have question marks). Also not entirely clear if the new law is effective immediately, or still to be implemented. Emirates Business 24-7 said The new rules will be effective after they are notified in the official gazzette, a date for which was not disclosed. This page currently being updated.
Information from WAM news report 19 August 2010:
- The Ministry of Health (MoH) has announced that some provisions of the Cabinet resolution number 7 of year 2008, on the medical check up of expatriates, have been amended, following the endorsement of the cabinet as per the resolution number 28 of year 2010.
- The minister [Dr Hanif Hassan] said five articles out of 12 were amended, adding that the articles 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10 of the cabinet resolution number 7 of year 2008, on the medical check up system of expatriates, were replaced.
- New residence visa applicants will be tested for HIV/Aids and for cases of hepatitis B, tuberculosis and leprosy
- Residence visa renewals will only be tested for HIV/Aids.
- Residence visa renewal medical check ups will also include Hepatitis B for employees in the categories of governesses, housemaids, nursery and kindergarten supervisors, staff at haircutting and beauty saloons, health clubs, foot catering workers (what?), food control, and restaurant and cafeteria staff.
Fees and charges update (WAM 19 August 2010):
- Medical fitness certificate to verify applicant does not have Aids, Hepatitis B, Tuberculosis, Leprosy or Syphilis - AED 250
- Hepatitis B immunisation for housemaids - AED 50 for first dose, free for second and third doses.
- Health insurance endorsement for housemaids - AED 200
- UAE Minister of Health Dr Hanif Hassan said that "The workers will not be deported from the country, if the tests confirm they are disease positive. Instead, the health authorities will give them treatment," referring to the Hep B tests for worker categories listed under point 1 above, but he was apparently contradicted by Dr Mahmoud Fikri, CEO of Health Policies at the MOH, who said "New residence or labour permits or renewals shall not be granted to the positive cases in these categories," (Gulf Today 20 August 2010). So good luck figuring that one out.
- Dr Fikri also said "However, vaccination for the Hepatitis-B is must for those who are tested negative among these categories, who should take three doses of preventive vaccines," referring to the same worker categories tested for Hep B on visa renewal (Gulf Today 20 August 2010). But the Gulf News 21 August 2010 said the opposite, or perhaps positive means negative and vice versa on odd-numbered days ... Those tested positive for Hepatitis B will have to take three doses of vaccinations and show proof that they have taken them.
- Regarding TB, The National reported 20 August 2010 that Only patients with "new, old or active pulmonary tuberculosis (TB)" will be refused residency, the law says. Previously extra-pulmonary TB and active pneumonia were also deportable. TB tests as a requirement of renewal of visas have been scrapped.
Medical Fitness Test fees and charges
- Dubai residents should have a health card or private health insurance policy. Government issued health cards cost AED 300.
- Tests for HIV, TB, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C cost AED 250 total.
- Stool and urine tests cost AED 50 each
- Hepatitis vaccine costs AED 50 for first dose, 2nd and 3rd dose free.
- Attestation fee of AED 200 for private health insurance policies, charged by Department of Health and Medical Services in Dubai (DOHMS). Payment required before completing other tests.
- Update: as of 01 August 2010 according to DHA website, Normal Package for Medical Fitness test is AED 210 or AED 350 (both figures on same page).
Disease statistics (reported in The National 20 August 2010)
- Hepatitis C in Abu Dhabi (2009) - 479 cases total, 369 expatriates (77%)
- Syphilis in Abu Dhabi (2009) - 145 cases total, 93 expatriates (64%)
- Hepatitis B in Dubai (2008) - 864 cases total, 802 expatriates (93%)
- Hepatitis C in Dubai (2008) - 399 cases total, 275 expatriates (69%)
- Syphilis in Dubai (2008) - 52 cases total, 28 expatriates (92%)
No more deportation for Hepatitis and TB carriers
Khaleej Times (KT) reports 12 August 2010 that the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) website no longer includes Tuberculosis and Hepatitis B or C as deportable conditions for foreigners under the medical fitness rules, except for some worker categories.
- KT report says: As per the details published on the website, testing for Hepatitis B and C, highly infectious diseases of the liver and tuberculosis, are no longer part of the medical fitness testing rules that have been compulsory before obtaining a work permit or residency in the country until now.
- Except when we checked, the DHA website said that a Chest X-ray is still part of the screening process, which we thought was for the test for TB.
- Worker categories still to be tested include food handlers, maids, restaurant workers, nannies, teachers and other educators.
- Date which new law came, or comes into effect unknown.
- Dr Mahmoud Fikri, CEO of Health Policies at the Ministry of Health said in the KT report that "The changes have been approved but I cannot say what exactly unless we receive the approved copy of the law,"
- DHA rules apply only to Dubai, expat residence visa applications in other emirates might be different, although a new Federal UAE law is expected to be implemented.
- Not clear if the change in the law will mean that previous denied applicants can re-apply.
- DHA and DOHMS websites say on the Medical Fitness -Normal Package page (last update 01 August 2010 when checked 12 August 2010):
- "This category-screening package includes: - HIV test. - HBV test. - Chest X-ray" for food handlers and food industry workers, for example waiters, waitresses, cooks, housemaids, etc
- "Only HIV test is required for both New cases and Visa renewal" for dependents on a family residence visa.
- "The screening package for new cases is: HIV, Chest X-ray," for anyone else.
- In all cases, "Positive result of the test will render the individual unfit to work in Dubai, U.A.E."
- Although the KT reports that the The KT
Updated report in the Gulf News 19 August 2010 (GN quotes in italics):
- Ministry of Health has announced changes in the medical tests for UAE resident expatriates.
- Hepatitis B blood tests now only for workers in the categories of barbers, beauticians, food handlers, health club workers, housemaids, kindergarten supervisors, nannies, nursery supervisors. Gulf News report said if confirmed positive will not be deported but will have to undergo treatment.
- Hepatitis B test no longer done for other employment categories.
- Hepatitis C test no longer done for any category.
- Tubercolosis (TB) only for new visa applications, not renewals, and only for pulmonary TB. Not clear what happens if found positive, previously was deportation after treatment. Presumably that is still the case?
- Maids, nannies and women drivers will now have to undergo a pregnancy test. Sponsor can then decide whether or not to continue employment. This was previously the case anyway as far as we knew, at least for maids and nannies anyway. Unknown if the Ministry of Health notifies the Dubai Police if the employee is unmarried and pregnant in Dubai. If they do, then the employee can expect to be arrested, jailed, and deported.
- Syphilis is another disease for which those tested positive will not be deported. This was also already the case in our understanding.
- Changes effected one day after publication in the Official Gazette. Date of publication not supplied though.
New medical tests in the UAE - 01 July 2008
- From 01 July 2008, a new law, Government Federal Law No 7/2008, means that expat residency visa applicants will have to do a medical fitness test for HIV, Hepatitis B and C, Syphilis, and Tuberculosis (TB).
- Previously, Hepatitis C and Syphilis were not included.
- Test failures result in deportation except for Syphilis which is treated. Positive TB tests result in quarantined treatment then deportation.
Last update Friday 31-Jan-2014. Page development 1H 2T 3D 4L 5C.