Over four million Dubai residents – accounting for about 98 per cent of the emirate’s population – now have health insurance, according to the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).
The announcement comes less a than week before the deadline for mandatory health insurance in the city, which falls on December 31.
From January 1, 2017, each resident who does not have insurance will be fined Dhs500 per month, with the sponsor bearing responsibility to pay the amount.
The mandatory health cover is also required for a new residency visa and to renew an existing one.
The new ruling is part of the Dubai Health Insurance Law that came into effect in January 2014.
The law states that it is the legal liability for every sponsor is to provide an essential insurance package – fixed between Dhs550 and Dhs700 – so that those with salaries under Dhs4,000 receive adequate cover.
Dr. Haidar Al Yousuf, director of Health Funding at DHA, said all insurance companies are “working non-stop” to cope with the increased demand from companies and individuals.
Several residents have also booked their insurance policies online, official news agency WAM quoted him as saying.
Al Yousef said he expected the remaining 2 per cent of residents, who do not yet have insurance, to complete the procedure before the deadline of December 31.
The mandatory insurance scheme, implemented in three phases, initially had a stipulated deadline of June 30.
However, the DHA added a six-month grace period to sponsors to abide by the ruling.
The DHA completed the first phase of the scheme in 2014, which included companies with more than 1,000 employees. The second phase included companies with 100 to 999 employees and this was undertaken in 2015.