Skip to Content

Working in Dubai as a Doctor or Nurse – What You Need to Know

Do you want to move to Dubai to work as a doctor but you don’t know the requirement? If YES, here is a detailed guide to working in Dubai as a doctor or nurse.

More expats have been trooping to Dubai to work in the medical industry as doctors or nurses. If you wish to pursue your medical career in Dubai, the door is wide open. All you have to do is to know the process. So where do you start? This is what this article will be covering.

Dubai is an international city and home to one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. In recent decades, this city has become a destination for expats seeking to work abroad. From lawyers to Engineers, this city has a high demand for professionals. But recently, one profession that seems to have a higher demand is the medical profession.

Dubai is a beautiful place for nurses, doctors, dentists and other medical professionals to build their careers and enjoy developing themselves in a new environment and culture. Are you a healthcare professional nursing the thought of working in Dubai? Great! But there are some things you need to know when considering to advance your medical career in Dubai.

Working in Dubai as a Doctor or Nurse


  • Language barrier: when practicing as a doctor or a nurse in Dubai, you will rarely be faced with a language barrier. English language is widely spoken and understood in the city. Patients will generally find it easy to express themselves and as such, the issue of not understanding your patients will hardly ever arise.
  • Tax free income: in Dubai and in everywhere else in the United Arab Emirate, you can keep all your salary without having a certain percentage deducted as tax. As a doctor or nurse, you can save up all your earnings and won’t have to give up a certain percentage of it.
  • It will boost your resume: including a “difficult region” (Middle East) in places you’ve worked is a sure way to give your resume a boost and make you to stand out from the crowd.
  • Excellent Career Stability and Steady Earnings: hospitals and healthcare facilities in Dubai are open round the clock and as a doctor or a nurse working there, you will get to work full hours- twenty if you work part time, and thirty if you’re a full time employee.

Hospitals are very busy and as such you can easily work over time and get paid for it and as such, you will be guaranteed a steady income very week without having to worry about your hours. In addition, jobs in the medical field are quite stable and are hardly ever terminated on frivolous grounds.


a. Weather: this reason is very obvious, the weather in Dubai is very hot for over 8 months of the year with humidity rising to over 90 percent during the summer periods. Walking to work under such a conditions can be a very tedious task even if you live very close to the hospital.

However, the truth still remains that with time, you will acclimatize with the environment and the heat will not be as bad as it was at first. In addition, most buildings (and all hospitals) have centralized air-conditioning and so the effect of the heat is somewhat diminished indoors.

b. Noise: even though Dubai is quite developed, it is still developing every day and construction projects are a common sight all over the city. If you live or work in a construction area, then the level of noise is guaranteed to be high.

In addition, mosques can also be a source of noise for non-Muslims. They usually have a call to prayer five times a day starting before 6am.

c. Cultural adjustments needed when in a Muslim country: the call to prayer five times a day can seem to be disruptive to patient care especially if you are not a Muslim and as such, you will have to wait before you continue whatever you are doing when Muslims return from prayer.

d. Cultural awareness in Dubai: it is very crucial to have in mind that even though Dubai is the most liberal emirate, it is still an Arab emirate and as such, there are many cultural restrictions that apply here. The Islamic religion permeates every aspect of life in the emirate. Be that as it may, expats are allowed to practice their religion as long as they don’t proselytize.


  • Dealing with realtors and landlords can be tricky: in Dubai, rent is paid on an annual basis and it must be paid up front. Some hospitals may have accommodations for their doctors and nurses or they may cover the rent for their staff and then deduct it from their salary as time goes on.

Dubai Realtors can also be difficult to work with. It’s better to find a place by word-of-mouth and then go directly to the property or engage a realtor to handle matters thereafter. An agent is required to complete a rental agreement.

  • Bureaucracy: in Dubai, getting official paperwork like resident and work visas, utilities set up, bank accounts opened and mobile phones connected can be a bit frustrating as it can be difficult to navigate the bureaucracy in Dubai. A lot of the documents need to be translated to Arabic, so expats should be sure to use a reliable company.


  • Doing business in Dubai: the economy of Dubai is really booming and moving at a very rapid pace and as such, this presents a lot of opportunities for those who would want to start a business there. As a doctor or a nurse, you can diversify into private practice if you have the wherewithal and knowledge, or on the alternative, you can start a business that is not related to the medical line.

What You Need to Know to Work in Dubai as a Doctor or Nurse

  1. Expats in Dubai

According to recent statistics, 80% of the United Arab Emirates population is foreign-born which makes the nation very appealing to expats. A large proportion of expats in the United Arab Emirates are originally from Europe or the united states.

However, there are tons of other nationalities residing there. Although the Middle East is strict, the United Arab Emirates is very free and welcoming than its neighbors. One of such welcoming cities in the UAE is Dubai. Dubai is open to different beliefs and cultures.

2. Dubai’s Healthcare System

The United Arab Emirates has a modern healthcare infrastructure. Medical facilities are highly developed and easy to access. Public hospitals in Dubai provide top-notch facilities and care, but there is also a steady growth in the private sector.

Dubai has a large medical center, Dubai Healthcare City, which has over 90 medical facilities including clinics, pharmacies, hospitals, research centers and so on. Plenty foreign-trained expats are gainfully employed in the public and private medical sector. In terms of language, English is more common in hospitals and healthcare centers.

3. Requirements and Qualifications

For you to be eligible to work as a medical doctor or nurse in Dubai, you are required by the city’s health authority known as DHA(Dubai Health Authority) to have genuine licensing and qualification from your country. After you provide this information, you will undergo an assessment by the Dubai Healthcare Authority.

Visa requirements differ substantially between nationalities. Visa requirements for getting to Dubai can change without notice, so it’s vital to have updated information.

For European and US nationalities, entering Dubai is pretty straightforward. However, for other foreigners, residency process may be lengthy. You will also need to obtain an entry visa, which is given to you immediately you step your feet into the city.

Secondly, you will need to submit a health report that states that you are free from any infectious diseases. After that, you will be issued a labor card that will be valid as long as you have a valid health card. The labor card gives you the green light to work in Dubai or any other city in the United Arab Emirates. Lastly, you will be given a residency visa, which permits you to live in Dubai for up to two years.

4. Finding a Medical Job in Dubai

It is crucial for you to secure a job before relocating to Dubai. It is necessary because the residency is based on sponsorship which is your employment contract. If you can obtain a job before you move to Dubai, the organization will sort the bills of your relocation.

You can search for a medical job by visiting the Dubai Healthcare city website. This website is owned by the government and will help you search for vacancies in the medical sector in Dubai. Another easy way to find jobs in Dubai is by using job boards listing. With Job boards listing, you can narrow your search to the medical niche for more better result.

5. Salary

In Dubai, salaries for workers in the healthcare sector depends on the job level role, job role, qualifications and whether a clinic or hospital is a private or public. According to recent stats, a medical doctor with five years experience pockets an average salary of AED 404,885 annually in Dubai.

On the other hand, a doctor, with less than five years of experience can earn an average salary of AED 363,000 every year. Meanwhile, a doctor with ten years of experience or more can pocket an average of AED 465,000 – 490,000 yearly compensation.

Finally, a staff Nurse in Dubai can earn an average of 87,764 – 120,000 AED annually. In addition to these attractive salaries, working as a doctor in Dubai makes you gain some benefits and incentives such as child education, housing, tickets to your native country and so on.

6. Best Paid Doctors

It may interest you to know that Dubai pays their doctors more than any other professionals. Cardiologists are assumed to be the highest paid doctors. Other best-paid doctors include child psychologists, gynecologists, vascular surgeons, and specialist neurologists.

7. Accommodation

Property prices in the United Arab Emirates have increased over the years, and Dubai is not exempted. However, there are tons of options to choose from when it comes to accommodation. Some doctors receive a housing allowance which is part of their benefits package.

Although the Dubai government permits foreigners to buy properties, many expats prefer paying rent. Studios and Apartments may cost you a pretty penny since they cost 4,000 AED monthly. In a good neighborhood, the cheapest and most common options among expats are renting rooms in a shared villa.

For you to rent an apartment in Dubai, you must have a residence visa, proof of income from your employer and passport when signing a lease. Almost every landlord in Dubai will request for a security deposit. Some may even ask for upfront payment.

8. Cost of transport in Dubai

Similar to accommodation, the cost of driving and moving from place to place in Dubai can also carry some unexpected fees. Many expats prefer hiring a driver for their daily commute. If you want to hire a driver, be prepared because it will assure you comfort but would profoundly affect your budget. Nevertheless, some hospitals may provide you with a car and driver for your transportation.

If you choose to buy a car and drive over there, make sure you exchange your driver’s license from your country to a local one. Changing your driving license does not take time, and it won’t cost you much. Understand the Driving rules, the speed limit of the city and lastly, do drink and drive. Breaking any driving rules may result in a hefty fine.

9. Cultural Awareness/Etiquette

Dubai is a modern and welcoming city with a high number of expats, but knowing their custom will assure you a peaceful life during your period of working as a nurse or doctor over there.

  • Do not discuss the politics or religion of the Middle East.
  • It is a general rule for women to dress decently at all time. As a woman, your clothing most cover the top of your arms and legs. Do not wear revealing outfits or clothes that expose too much of your skin in public.
  • Public displays of love and affection for married or unmarried couples are unacceptable. Such display can include kissing, hugging or even holding of hands.
  • Do not display the sole of your foot in public or touch somebody with your shoe; it is considered rude.
  • When visiting locals, make sure you take off your shoes before entering their living room.
  • Many locals in Dubai don’t separate personal and professional life; therefore, engaging in business revolves around family ties, relationship, and trust. They have this tendency to prioritize personal issues above anything. It is, therefore, necessary that a business relationship should be built on trust and mutual friendship.
  • When you get to Dubai, the standard greeting you will hear from local is “Asalamu Alaykum” meaning “peace be with you.” As a non-Muslim, it is not appropriate for you to use it.
  • As a man, if you are introduced to the opposite sex, do not kiss her cheeks or hug her. Wait to see if she will extend her hands if she does you can go ahead but make it quick. Avoid any prolonged eye contact with any woman.
  • If you are offered refreshment, do not refuse it as this will be perceived as an insult to the host. Even if you are filled accept the refreshment, take a sip or a bite and leave the rest on the cup or plate.
  • When entering a private residence, you will need to take off your shoes, so it is vital your feet are clean or wear clean socks.
  • Most locals eat at floor level in their home even if they have an exotic dining table and chairs. When invited for a meal by your boss or college always remember to sit properly so that the soles of your feet won’t be visible to anyone.
  • Use only your right hand when taking food.
  • Do not openly admire any of your host’s belongings. Your host would be forced to give you that item as a gift and would expect something of such nature from you in the future.

Other things to consider working in Dubai

1. Arriving Late Is Accepted

This can be one of the most annoying aspects of working in Dubai as a doctor or nurse or any profession. Generally, in every western nation, punctually is a must for every business function, but in Dubai, people come late to every business function and even to their place of work, and it is accepted.

2. Adjusting to a new Culture

Although Dubai is the most visited and progressive city in the United Arab Emirate, things are very different over there. For newcomers, the new kind of life can result in stress and depression. Being so far away from your loved ones can be difficult especially if you have not lived apart from your family or friends in the past.

Adjusting to the new culture is not impossible but would take some time. If it’s your first time to be away from your loved ones, do not over think, instead be happy for the opportunity to experience something different.

One secret to feeling at home when you get to Dubai is to get out of your home. Dubai is a very lively city, and something is happening every weekend. The city is for the rich so expect an exciting event. Also, Dubai boasts the world biggest mall, so if you love shopping, you can relieve yourself from the stress by shopping for your favorite brands of clothes, chocolate and a lot more.

3. Always Respect The Locals

Even though Dubai is one of the modern cities in the world, it can be very easy to forget that their culture very different. It is very vital for you to respect the local culture throughout the time you will be working as a nurse or doctor over there.

Keep in mind that in the first few weeks you will be woken up by the call to prayer. Also, don’t be surprised to see your co-workers taking time off to pray. Finally, know when it’s their religious holiday and respect it. Mind your language when communicating in public, and always mind your business.