Health insurance warning issued to British women in Dubai

The Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated its advice for Brits visiting or living in Dubai. In the update the UK government notices that health insurance may not be valid to cover pregnancy in some circumstances.

It is estimated that around 240,000 Brits have moved to Dubai to make the country their temporary, or permanent, home while holding British citizenship. Dubai is also a destination which attracts holidaymakers in their drives, the FCO knows that the country’s various laws and customs should be noted prior to visiting.

UAE laws are very different to those in the UK, meaning that many actions consider to be acceptable on domestic shores may not be once you cross the border. The site states that “you are strongly advised to familiarise yourself with, and respect local laws and customs.”

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The latest warning from the UK governments concerns to women who could give birth in the UAE. The guidance for British women can be found under the sexual relationships outside marriage section which was updated on May 27.

The guidance states: “If you become pregnant and give birth to a child in the UAE outside marriage, to obtain a local birth certificate both you and your partner will need to ensure that you either get married or you and/or your partner must singly or jointly acknowledge the child and provide identification papers and travel documents in accordance with the laws of your country consider the applicable laws of that nation.”

Also, if you become pregnant outside of marriage, you may not be covered by your health insurance. In this instance, you are advised to consult with your medical insurance provider before giving birth in the UAE.

The guidance goes on to say that while consensual sexual relationships are generally permitted under UAE law, providing that both are over the age of 18, in the case of an extra-marital consensual sexual relationship, if a criminal complaint is filed, then both parties “shall be responsible to a jail sentence for a period not less than six months”. Meanwhile, all homosexual sex is illegal and same-sex marriages are not recognized in the UAE.

Elsewhere in this travel advice, it is stating that women should dress modestly when in public areas like shopping malls. To meet their rules, underwear shouldn’t be seen and clothes should cover the top of both the arms and legs.


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