Pregnant, Pregnancy, Childbirth and Giving Birth in Dubai and UAE
How to get pregnant in Dubai
Maternity Care, Pre-Natal, Post-Natal, Ante-Natal Care, Delivery
Update 23 December 2010 (Khaleej Times): Delivery fees at UAE government hospitals will increase in January 2011 to AED 5,000 for natural births, and AED 8,000 for ceasarean section (previously AED 2,500 for natural birth and AED 5,000 for c-section). Or double that to AED 10,000 and AED 16,000 for those not holding a UAE health card. The same report said private hospital fees ranged from AED 6,000 to AED 25,000.
You can visit a Government Hospital with a health card to pay low fees for care and delivery. There will be extra charges if there are complications and/or you choose to have a private room (usually a few hundred dhs per day). Al Wasl Hospital near the Wafi Center seems to be the preferred choice of many opting for delivery in a Government Hospital but other options include Al Maktoum and Rashid Hospitals. See further below for contact details and individual hospital comments.
You'll need a government health card, marriage certificate, passport copies for you and your husband, and possibly some evidence of where you live (rent contract, phone bill, DEWA bill). Phone the hospital of your choice to find out when to go and register.
If you have private medical insurance (which includes pregnancy) or lots of money, then you can try one of the private hospitals like American hospital, Welcare hospital, or start with one of the private gynaecological clinics in Dubai. Delivery fees at Welcare and American hospital are about 10,000 - 20,000 dhs depending on whether or not you have a ceasarean section. Al Zahra Hospital in Sharjah (they have a medical clinic in Dubai on Sheikh Zayed Road for check-ups and tests but deliveries are performed at the hospital in Sharjah) may be a bit cheaper.
Some hospitals offer ante-natal packages for example about 4,000 dhs at American Hospital for visits and tests (not including delivery though).
Dubai Healthcare City (behond the Wafi Center) is currently under development and is expected to have a variety of clinics catering to all medical needs.
Married and pregnant
If you are married, your main concern will be where to have your baby. Phone the hospitals listed to get an idea of cost and waiting times for appointments.
Unmarried and pregnant in Dubai
If you're not married and get pregnant in Dubai, you'll be in a bit of trouble. A girlfriend/boyfriend defacto relationship in Dubai is illegal. There are many cases of unmarried mothers in Dubai ending up in jail (with their baby) after delivery, followed by deportation on completion of their sentence, because giving birth out of wedlock is a crime in the UAE. Rather than end up in that situation, you can either leave the country and go to your home country, or get a wedding organised in a hurry. Bear in mind that there are flying restrictions depending on how close to delivery you are so if you are unlikely to get married before giving birth, get your exit from the UAE organised as soon as possible.
Procedure and paperwork for giving birth in Dubai
Nationality and Passports of Children Born in Dubai
Babies born in the UAE will not have UAE nationality (unless the father is Emirati), they will receive the same nationality as the father.
As soon as the child is born, you should start getting a passport organised. It is not advisable to include children on your own passport, get them separate passports. You have up to 4 months from the date of birth to get passports organised. After that, babies get fined 100 dhs per day. This procedure can be tedious but you'll get there in the end. Allow a few days or a couple of weeks for all the paperwork to be completed.
Take the baby's birth certificate along with parent's birth certificates, marriage certificate, passports and copies to your embassy or consulate and fill in a birth registration form and passport application form. After the passport is issued, apply for a residence visa for the wee tyke. Minimum working age in the UAE is 18 (or 15 for some jobs) so you have some time before needing to get a work permit organised.
Contact details and Hospital Comments
In general terms, the major noticeable difference between private hospitals and government hospitals (apart from cost) is that there is a significant lack of 'customer care' in government hospitals. Medically, there's probably not that much difference but you'll definitely feel a lot more comfortable about it all in a good private hospital. This applies to Dubai and probably Abu Dhabi. In the smaller emirates, many expats would advise you to go to one of the better hospitals in Dubai or maybe Sharjah for important medical procedures like childbirth. You should certainly try and visit the hospitals on your short list for giving birth, to form an opinion.
For some difficult/unusual situations, private hospitals will send patients to government hospitals anyway (eg premature babies needing an ICU unit).
Last update Tuesday 18-Jan-2011