Social Security in Dubai – How It Works for Expats

There are so many aspects of moving to another country that it is perfectly natural for an expatriate to be overwhelmed. Before moving to Dubai, most foreign workers usually take care of their most urgent needs such as securing a resident visa for themselves and their families and arranging accommodation. However, there are also more specific and long term aspects related to living and working in Dubai that you should look into. Social security is perhaps the most important one of them.

The social security system in Dubai works relatively simply compared to the systems in other countries worldwide. The emirate has, plainly speaking, a very rich economy and despite the economic downturn the economic performance of the state is still good. The gross domestic product of the country is very high while the local population is relatively small in numbers. For these reasons, the nationals of Dubai are entitled to all possible social security benefits automatically. Those, who are employed, have very limited or sometimes no financial obligations to the state.

Since the social security system is designed only for Dubai nationals, expatriates cannot benefit from it fully. For instance, you cannot take advantage of a government pension scheme or expect to receive maternity care benefits. It is true that you are entitled to state provided healthcare, but there is increasing pressure form the local government to make more and more foreign workers obtain private health insurance. For all these reasons, you have to arrange all social security matters by yourself. It is advisable for you to do this with the help of your employer, if possible.

You are highly recommended to purchase a private healthcare insurance, once you relocate to Dubai. You might be entitled to a kind of allowance for this from your employer, so do not miss to check for such an opportunity. It is important for you to purchase a comprehensive package, especially if you have your spouse and your children moving with you to the emirate.

There are aspects related to employment that you should take care of as well. You have check how sickness covers will be arranged for you with your employer. As an expat worker, you might not be entitled to receiving any coverage from the state. If you are familiar with the labor law in Dubai, you will know that expatriates cannot receive unemployment benefits. If you are made redundant, you will have to find another job or leave the emirate. Thus, you should look into the reimbursement you are entitled to in case of redundancy.

There are no state pension funds for expats in Dubai. For this reason, you have to think of and use an alternative methods for retirement saving. It is possible for you to take advantage of the government pension schemes in your home country. Generally, it is best to look into the private pension plans and choose one to save money for your retirement.

If you are taking your children to Dubai, you have to be certain that you can support them financially. The private schools as well as the nurseries charge high fees and the demand for places in them is quite large.


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