Emergency in Dubai: What to do when the stakes are high
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Emergency in Dubai: What to do when the stakes are high

People who move to a new place are often unaware of many aspects of life in their new home, but one of the first things that should be sought out in this situation is the proper local procedures and contacts for emergency situation. For expats new to Dubai, UAE Medical Insurance has prepared this quick primer on emergencies that includes info on preparedness, as well as important telephone numbers you should know. Read on to find out more.

Accidents and emergencies can strike anytime and anywhere, and for all of its modern amenities and clout as a world class city, Dubai is no exception. However, people who are new to the city may not know exactly where to turn when disaster strikes, whether it affects them directly or a friend, family member, or bystander in their vicinity. For this reason, we at UAE Medical Insurance have prepared this guide on various emergencies that may occur in the United Arab Emirates, as well as how to handle them should they arise.


Traffic accidents

Outside of illnesses, do you know what the most common cause of death in the UAE is? It just so happens that the answer to this question is traffic collisions. There are thousands of traffic accidents in the UAE each year, and a recent report from the Abu Dhabi Police states that drivers aged 30 and under are responsible for 63% of them. Furthermore, drivers in this age range cause 34% of fatal accidents. Whether you yourself are in this age group or not, it’s important to realize that traffic accidents are not uncommon in the city. So what do you do if you get into one?

First, you may want to avail yourself of Auto Assist road service in the UAE by calling 800 4430. This service can help if you have a non-life threatening auto emergency like a flat tire or breakdown. Of course, for more serious accidents that result in injury, it would be best to dial 999 for ambulance and police assistance.

As far as preparedness is concerned, keep a vehicle safety kit inside of your car, as well as all important documents, such as ID cards, vehicle registration, emergency contacts, and insurance cards. Needless to say, you should have at least 3rd party liability insurance for your car, as this is mandatory in the UAE, but to protect yourself to the greatest extent, it would be advisable to obtain comprehensive car insurance. Above all, drive defensively and be vigilant to not get distracted while driving.


Medical emergencies

What is the overall #1 killer of people in the UAE? Cardiovascular disease. In fact, A WHO Report from 2014 states that diseases of the cardiovascular system account for 30% of all deaths in the Emirates.

Of course, there are myriad other causes for medical emergencies that could occur at virtually any time. So, using a heart attack as an example, what should you do in the event that someone near you has a medical emergency?

First, check to see if the person is breathing and responding to you. If not, call 999 immediately for help or have someone else do so. Assuming the person is having a heart attack, this is where preparedness once again comes into play. If you know how to perform CPR, begin resuscitation on the person immediately until medics arrive.


Whatever the medical emergency, do call 999 as soon as you can. For accidents involving serious bleeding, apply direct pressure with a clean cloth or gauze,  or use a tourniquet if necessary. If an injured person is not in immediate danger at their current position, do not move them so as not to cause further injury. Finally, be prepared for medical emergencies by keeping a first aid kit in your home and car, and knowing where one is located at your place of business.


Other emergencies

There are numerous other emergencies that could rear their ugly head in Dubai, and many ways to contact people in the know to help you deal with them. Here are some helpful telephone numbers that can be used in emergency situations:

  • Fire Department – 997

  • Electricity and Water Department – 991

  • Dubai Municipal Emergency – 04 223 2323

  • Criminal Activity, Harassment & Tourist Security – 800 4888

  • Poison or Drug Ingestion – 800 424

  • Road and Transport Authority – 800 9090

  • Coast Guard - 996


Better safe than sorry

Whatever emergency arises, many of them have the same thing in common: medical assistance and hospitalization. Fortunately for those in Dubai, the new Dubai Health Authority insurance reform will soon ensure that every person in Dubai has access to medical insurance. To truly give yourself and your family the best shot a survival, however, it is best to ensure that the highest quality of care and benefits are available to them. To do this you may want to look into obtaining health insurance coverage that goes beyond the minimum benefits required by law, and gives access to the highest quality private hospitals the UAE has to offer.

To find out if your health insurance plan is up to snuff, as well as to get plan comparisons and price quotations for major insurers in the UAE, contact UAE Medical Insurance today. Our agents are standing by.


UAE-Medical-Insurance is owned and operated by Pacific Prime Insurance Brokers LLC who is regulated and licensed by the UAE Insurance Authority (license number 266).

Registered Office: PO Box 391195, Dubai, UAE