Essential General Health Guidance for Expats Living in Dubai

Essential General Health Guidance, There are few cities in the world that conjure feelings of awe and excitement like Dubai. Whether it’s the stunning architecture, a year-round climate to bask in or the tax-free salaries, it should come as little surprise that in 2013 alone, 7.8 million expats * called Dubai home.

Not only this, but Dubai also boasts low crime rates and the type of picturesque scenery that even the highest definition camera would struggle to do justice to.

However, expats – especially those from western countries with cooler, comfortable climates – may struggle to adapt to maintain optimal health and well-being in a city with soaring summer temperatures and the change in lifestyle and overall environment of Dubai.

Our brief general health guide below is perfect for expats who want to keep themselves in optimal health and fitness condition to enjoy everything that Dubai offers.


Stay Cool

Living and working in Dubai means that expats must accustom themselves to the high temperatures. Those with fairer skin tones or an aversion to year-round heat can find the sun’s rays relentless.

In the months between 15th June – 15th September, the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation enforces a compulsory break from 12:30pm – 3pm. With temperatures reaching as high as 50 degrees Celsius, keeping cool is paramount to avoid heat rashes, muscle cramps, and even heat stroke or exhaustion.

Staying cool is as much about common sense as it is awareness. If you need to exercise, hit the gym. A well air-conditioned room is far more favorable than running in the scorching summer heat. If you feel uncomfortable in the sun, seek out the shade, and always make sure that you’re well-hydrated.


Make Sure You’ve Got Your Health Insurance Covered

Having the right health insurance is imperative. Under the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) scheme, all Dubai residents are provided with basic insurance. This covers hospital facilities and access to Dubai Health Authority clinics.

However, DHA insurance is limited. It won’t cover dental or dermatology treatment, nor does it provide maternity coverage. Most expats choose personal insurance. This allows them to be referred to a specialist without the involvement of a general practitioner.

Expats should always read and check their healthcare insurance to understand the treatments that they’re covered for. Failing to do so can be disastrous in the event of an emergency or unforeseen health problem.


Fuel Your Body Right

With high temperatures and demanding careers, maintaining a healthy body can be challenging. Many people feel the temptation to skip meals or eat on the go, whilst forgetting to routinely exercise each day.

This is a mistake. Yes, the heat can induce sluggishness, particularly in the scorching summer heat between May and August, but that’s no excuse for not taking regular exercise and eating sensibly.

Small meals 4-5 times a day with plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, lean protein, pasta, water and fruit juice are advised. Avoid sugary drinks, and certainly avoid alcohol in the afternoon. This can lead to severe dehydration.


Try the Occasional Massage

Living life at a fast pace is hardly conducive to relaxation – something we all need to live life to the fullest. It’s fine striving for perfection and working our hardest to achieve our ambitions, but this shouldn’t come at the expense of our physical and mental health.

Massage therapy has been clinically proven to provide effective relief of a wealth of physical and mental conditions. You may not know it, but Dubai is a haven for massage therapy with locations across the whole city offering reflexology guaranteed to leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.


Why Not Attend a Wellness Retreat?

Sometimes staying fit and healthy requires a little guidance. A wellness retreat provides a short break from the hustle and bustle of the city, allowing you to recharge the batteries under the supervision of trained healthcare professionals.

A relatively new concept for Dubai, wellness retreats can help everyone to find that healthy work-life balance, escape from the rat race, modify or change your diet and generally rejuvenate your mind, body and soul.

Resorts across Dubai offer retreats several times a year which means regardless of where you live, a retreat won’t be too far away. In addition to cooking workshops and nutritional seminars, many wellness retreats offer meditation and light exercise.

These are just some of the ways that Dubai residents can improve their general health. If you’ve been considering making a change, maybe now’s the time?

Essential General Health Guidance



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