Having a baby far away from family and your home countries may not be ideal, but luckily the UAE has some of the best pre and post-natal care in the world, so you can rest assured that you and your baby will be well taken care of. However, all the state-of-the-art care and facilities can come at a hefty price, with prenatal care for the mother costing up to AED 6,000 and the birth costing as much as AED 25,000 depending on whether it's a natural or cesarean delivery.
So it’s important to do your research and have a plan in place before deciding to have your baby in Dubai. This guide will help you have a hassle-free and pleasant pregnancy in the UAE.
Know the costs
This ventures beyond the cost of the pregnancy itself. It’s also important to know how much raising a child in the UAE is going to cost you.
Once you factor in antenatal classes, postnatal care and possible neonatal care, the initial bill can come up to AED 20,000-30,000. Luckily there are a lot of options for healthcare and insurance providers, so find a package which gives you exactly what you need.
The estimated cost of raising a child to adulthood hovers between AED 1.26 million and AED 2.52 million in the UAE, depending on which school and college you choose for your kid.
Pick your hospital well in advance
The most important part of the process is finding a hospital in which you want to deliver in. Start by comparing prices. There is a good choice of private and government-run hospitals in the UAE and the difference in cost can make a world of difference for those on a tight budget.
If you go for Dubai's City Hospital or Welcare Hospital with a two-day stay in a private room, the costs involved would be in the region of AED 11,000. But if your birth is an instrumental delivery (with forceps or vacuum), this can bump up your outlay to AED 13,400, while a Cesarean costs AED 22,500. Abu Dhabi's Corniche Hospital charges AED 10,000 for a normal delivery and from AED 10,000 to AED 14,000 for a Cesarean. At Sharjah's Al Zahra Hospital, prices start at AED 6,900 for a basic normal delivery package with a one-night stay. A three-night stay will set you back AED 10,350.
For a more ‘no frills’ option, consider Dubai's government-run Al Wasl Hospital. While by no means luxurious, its maternity unit has a great reputation and has delivered tens of thousands of healthy, squeaking babies since its inception.
Charges for a normal delivery package with a two-night stay in a shared ward costs AED 7,000. This rises to AED 9,000 for a private room, AED 10,000 for a Cesarean delivery in a shared ward or AED 12,000 for a private room. If you do choose a government hospital, make sure you register before the birth and that you have a health card.
Make sure your insurance is in order
Choose a plan from an insurance company, select a level of cover and purchase an add-on maternity plan that offers a specific level of cover.
In most cases, the normal pregnancy and childbirth benefits is up to AED 6,700, but some plans offer full cover for complications, while others are limited in such offerings.
The difference with corporate policies is that you usually have to accept the terms offered, which the employer has negotiated.
For those wanting to upgrade their corporate plans, they need to check if the scheme or employers will allow this. Alternatively, if a company-sponsored scheme does not include maternity cover, you can pay for this additional plan yourself. But remember, selecting maternity as a policy add-on does not ensure it is activated immediately.
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