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Travel insurance for Dubai

Dubai has grown increasingly popular among UK tourists over the years. We can help you get covered for your trip, whether you’re looking for business cover or a holiday with activity or water sports add-ons.

Read on to find out more about visas and your travel insurance options. Or, select ‘Get a quote’ if you’re ready to compare policy options.

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Important information

All insurance products exclude cover for known events. These are global events that can put you in danger and/or disrupt travel. The Covid-19 pandemic is an example of this. This exclusion applies if the event was declared as a ‘known event’ when you bought your insurance.

If you travel against Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice or fail to comply with your destination’s entry requirements, you won’t be covered by any travel insurance you buy.

There are currently no travel advisories for the United Arab Emirates (UAE)*. So, you should be able to buy travel insurance.

*Correct as of February 2024

Do I need insurance to travel to Dubai?

It’s no longer a mandatory requirement to have travel insurance to visit Dubai if you’re a British passport holder as you don’t need a visa. But, if you’re not a British citizen, you may need a visa to enter the country, which means you do need travel insurance.

Either way, it’s always worth considering buying travel insurance before you go abroad. Healthcare in Dubai can be expensive, so travel insurance means you’re covered for any medical bills. Standard travel insurance policies should also cover repatriation if you need to be flown home for treatment.

Flights and accommodation can also be expensive in Dubai. Insurance can protect you from any unexpected issues, such as cancellations or delays. Without cover in place, you have to pay for these yourself.

Choosing the right policy for your trip

To make sure you have the right level of cover, you need a worldwide travel insurance policy for Dubai. This type of insurance typically covers higher medical and repatriation costs, so it might be more expensive than a European travel insurance policy.

Depending on the nature of your trip, other policy options include:

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Business travel insurance

If you're travelling to Dubai for business purposes, it's worth considering adding business cover to your standard travel insurance policy. This is designed to cover business equipment and company money.

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Backpacker travel insurance

If Dubai is one stop on your trip, you might need a backpackers travel insurance policy. This covers you if you're visiting multiple countries in a single trip.

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Multi-trip travel insurance

If you're planning on taking multiple trips in a year, an annual travel insurance policy might suit your needs. This can be cheaper than taking out single-trip policies each time you go away.

What our travel insurance expert says

“Along with holidays and leisure, Dubai is popular with business travellers from the UK. In either case, it’s important to get the right cover to protect you from financial losses.

“Don’t forget to make sure you get additional cover and let your insurer know if you plan on doing any activities like skydiving or skiing.”

Matthew Harwood, Home & lifestyle insurance expert at Confused.com
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What does Dubai travel insurance cover?

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What’s typically covered by travel insurance:

  • Medical expenses and repatriation. Medical treatment in Dubai can be expensive. Repatriation can cost even more. Travel insurance is designed to cover these costs.
  • Lost, stolen or damaged luggage. Travel insurance covers the cost of replacing any clothes or personal belongings if something happens during your trip.
  • Flight cancellations. Flights to Dubai can be expensive. If you get delayed or your flight is cancelled, travel insurance can cover the cost of new flights or accommodation if you need to stay in a hotel for an extra night.
  • Cancellation or curtailment. If you need to cancel your trip or return home early due to unforeseen circumstances, travel insurance means you can get back some of the costs.
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What’s typically excluded from travel insurance:

  • Extreme sports and activities. Activities like skydiving, skiing and scuba diving are normally excluded by standard travel insurance because of the additional risks involved.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions. You can normally still get travel insurance as long as you declare any medical conditions, but it might be more expensive. Some conditions require a specialist policy.
  • Natural disasters. It’s possible to see earthquakes, floods, tropical storms and landslides in Dubai. These aren’t normally covered by travel insurance, especially if they’re declared a ‘known event’ before you buy your insurance.
  • Travelling against government advice. The FCDO has advice on travelling abroad. If you go against this, your travel insurance is likely to be invalidated.
  • Incidents relating to drugs or alcohol. If you’re injured or your possessions are damaged while you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your insurance probably won’t cover you.

How much is travel insurance to Dubai?

Here are a few examples of the cheapest policies for a trip to Dubai:

Policy type Price
Single-trip travel insurance
£9.381
Couples travel insurance
£18.862
Family travel insurance
£28.873

1Cheapest policy 1 week in Dubai, 30 year old with no medical conditions.

2Cheapest policy 1 week in Dubai, 30 year old couple with no medical conditions.

3Cheapest policy 1 week in Dubai, family of 4 with no medical conditions.

Medical care in Dubai

Generally, the level and quality of healthcare in Dubai is similar to the UK. However, you may not be able to access this care if you don’t have travel insurance or proof that you can afford to pay medical bills. Having travel insurance in place means you’re covered in case you do need medical care.

TravelHealthPro also recommends that travellers get a tetanus vaccination before travelling. Depending on what you’re travelling to Dubai for, some travellers might also benefit from Hepatitis A and B vaccinations, as well as a rabies vaccination*.

*Correct as of February 2024

Travel insurance for activities in Dubai

You should consider what activities you plan on doing on your trip. Some aren't covered by standard travel insurance. When you buy a policy, you can add extra cover for an added cost.

  • Water sports, such as jet skiing and scuba diving, are popular tourist activities in Dubai. Some standard travel insurance policies cover these, but you should always check. If they’re not covered, it’s worth considering adding extra cover.
  • If you plan on visiting the Ski Dubai snow park, you might need a winter sports add-on. Basic travel insurance doesn’t normally cover outdoor skiing as there are additional risks involved. If you’re planning a visit, check with your insurer to see if you need additional cover.
  • Golf cover can be a separate add-on or included as part of a business travel insurance policy to cover any golfing equipment you take on your trip. This covers loss, damage or theft of your belongings.

Do I need a visa to travel to Dubai?

It depends on your citizenship and why you’re travelling. UK citizens who hold a British passport don’t need a visa to travel to Dubai for tourism. Instead, travellers get a free visa, valid for 40 days, on arrival, so there’s no need to arrange one or apply beforehand.

But, if you’re travelling for work you need a work visa, which your employer needs to apply for. The duration and validity of this are subject to the terms of your employment contract.

You also need a visa if you’re in Dubai on a layover for onward travel. These visas can only be supplied by your airline and are routine for layovers, so they can help you with this.

You can find out more about visas, eligibility and length of stays at visitdubai.com and Emirates.

Dubai travel tips

  • Money: The official currency of Dubai is the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Dirham. Remember to let your bank know that you’re travelling to avoid any blocked payments.
  • Dress code: It’s important to respect local customs, which includes clothing. For example, women should wear modest clothing that covers the shoulders and legs in public areas.
  • Safety: There are different customs in Dubai when it comes to things like relationships or acceptable public behaviour. It's important that you familiarise yourself with these customs before you travel.
  • Driving in Dubai: You can drive in the UAE on a UK driving licence. But, traffic accidents occur at a higher rate than in the UK, so it’s best to be cautious when driving. It’s worth learning the rules of driving and common customs before you travel.
  • Time difference: Dubai is in the Gulf Standard Time time zone, which is 4 hours ahead of the GMT. They don’t observe daylight savings, so during British Summer Time they’re 3 hours ahead.
  • British embassy: If you need help from the UK government while you’re in Dubai, you can contact the British embassy in Dubai or Abu Dhabi.
  • Ramadan: Ramadan will start on 9th March and last for 30 days. If you’re travelling to Dubai during this time, it’s important to be respectful of religious customs. For example, avoid eating or drinking in public during fasting hours and dress modestly.
  • Other tips: Always use designated pedestrian crossings if you’re crossing a road. It’s illegal to cross at other points.

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