The UAE has become an increasingly attractive place for expats to live and work, with the expat population currently totaling over 8.9 million.

This number is expected to increase further in the coming years, following the government’s launch of a series of visa programs to attract and retain top international talent.

One of them, the Golden Visa, was introduced in 2019 and saw 44,000 visas issued in Dubai in the first year alone to beneficiaries including investors and entrepreneurs. Recent changes to the program have further expanded eligibility, allowing more foreign nationals to live, work and study in the UAE, without the need for employer sponsorship. Golden Visa holders can now also sponsor their spouse, children and support staff without any limits.

Apart from offering a thriving place to work and study, the UAE is also home to excellent healthcare infrastructure. Health insurance is a legal requirement for all residents of Dubai and policies must meet criteria set by the Dubai Health Authority.

For better protection, new (and existing) expats living in Dubai can consider a plan that offers enhanced benefits that exceed local regulatory requirements. Considerations could include:

Coverage at home and abroad

While the pandemic has caused a significant reduction in international travel, travel abroad, for work or pleasure, is now back on the agenda. An international health insurance plan will cover individuals whether at home or abroad, including medical evacuation and repatriation.

When it comes to global coverage, Oman Insurance customers can benefit from the combined experience of Oman Insurance Company, the local insurer and plan administrator, and Bupa Global, the international plan administrator.

Through this partnership, their plans in the UAE provide direct access to some of the best doctors and hospitals locally, regionally and internationally. Their in-house service advisors speak multiple languages, giving clients confidence that language won’t be a barrier to getting the right advice and treatment.

Customers also benefit from Global Virtual Care*, a telemedicine application providing access to a global network of doctors, by phone or video, for same-day, 24/7 appointments.

A focus on prevention

Research results from Bupa Global Executive Wellbeing Index 2021** revealed that more than seven out of ten High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) in the UAE want to focus more on preventative health measures in the wake of the pandemic. And they turn to their mutual to support them in this process.

Oman Insurance Company, in partnership with Bupa Global, provides policyholders with wellness programs to support them and their families from day one. The programs are offered at no additional cost and use of the services will not affect policy premiums or erode the benefits of the customer’s plan.

Other daily benefit options could include health check-ups, dental and optical coverage (waiting periods apply), as well as access to a range of alternative preventative treatments, which can help individuals maintain and their families in good shape throughout the year.

Mental health problems

The pandemic has had a marked impact on mental health, affecting individuals across the world. Research by Bupa Global found that the majority (96%) of HNWIs in the UAE experienced at least one symptom of mental stress in 2021. The World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Risks Report citing that deteriorating mental health would become a critical threat to the world in the next two years, it’s a challenge that isn’t going away anytime soon. Coverage for mental health issues should be a key consideration.

“An issue that often goes unaddressed in relation to expatriate health is relocation-related depression,” adds Dean Pollard, Bupa Global’s managing director for Africa, India and the Middle East. “Getting away from family and friends, the pressures of a new job, and adjusting to a new lifestyle and culture can be difficult, and even lead to a form of depression for some people.

Mental health is just as important as physical health. Appreciating this, Oman Insurance Company, in partnership with Bupa Global, offers enhanced mental health coverage in all of its plans.

A family matter

Couples and families can consider taking out a family policy to ensure that their whole family is protected with the same level of cover. Oman Insurance Company, in partnership with Bupa Global, offers adaptable plans that evolve as the family grows and on their Elite plan, two children under the age of 10 can be insured at no additional cost (subject to underwriting) .

Ready to discover their range of comprehensive health plans that meet your needs? To find out more about their global health plans, waiting times, limitations and exclusions, call 04 210 8088 or simply get a quote at www.oicglobal.ae

*Global Virtual Care is provided by Advance Medical, a Teladoc healthcare company, a third party, directly to you. Oman Insurance Company and Bupa Global take no responsibility and accept no liability for the information provided by this third party; or the performance of the Services. The support and information provided through this service does not confirm that any related treatment or additional support is covered by your health plan. By using any of these services, you also hereby agree to release Oman Insurance Company and Bupa Global from any costs/damages/liability arising out of your use of any of these services. To discuss your health plan coverage, please contact Oman Insurance Company or Bupa Global. This service is not intended to be used for emergency or urgent medical care

**Bupa Global Executive Wellbeing Index 2021