The prospect of giving birth in a country different from one’s own, away from family and friends, may be intimidating. But you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed.

Here are some of the steps to keep in mind while giving birth in Dubai as an expat-

  1. The very first document required while opening a maternity file in any hospital in Dubai is a marriage certificate along with your passport and visa copy. Because getting pregnant outside of marriage may lead to imprisonment, payment of fines and possible deportation. If unmarried, couples can either tie the knot while in Dubai or unmarried expat mothers can go back to their country of origin during the time of the baby’s delivery.
  2. Ensure your medical insurer covers you for maternity. Many insurance companies cover only certain stages and some may have exceptions, terms and conditions tied to the type of delivery. So be extra cautious while comparing and opting for a medical plan. If you already have one, check for the insurance coverage amount and if possible, request for an upgrade. Typically there are four stages of maternity cover –
    • pre-natal,
    • pregnancy,
    • childbirth and
    • post-natal
  3. Choose an Ob-gyn as per your needs: In a few hospitals, a ‘would-be-mom’ is often assigned a team of experts who will assist her in her pregnancy and delivery.
  4. Choose a hospital: While opting for a hospital either private or government, check clearly about hospital’s policies- such as whether or not the husband can stay overnight in the hospital or come after official visiting hours (Not all hospitals in the Dubai allow this). Apart from that, check for rooms and if the doctors and medical staff speak English.
  5. Collect the required documents needed to open a maternity file such as would-be-mom’s valid health card, residency visa, passports of the couple, marriage certificate. Upon birth, the nationality of the child is determined by the nationality of his/her father.
  6. Birthing preferences: Though home birth and water birth are not performed in Dubai. But, there is a concept known as ‘doulas’. A doula is a trained person who accompanies women or couples in labor to facilitate a good birth experience. Doulas provide support, consultation and advocacy during birth and afterwards.
  7. Register newborn’s birth: Parents may also plan to hire the service of an agency or an expert to assist in all the documentation and paperwork. If you are planning to register birth by self, the foremost document required is the notification of birth certificate in Arabic which will be issued by the hospital where the baby is born. Expats need to translate the Arabic version in English and get both the certificates attested by The Ministry of Health and Ministry of Foreign affairs. Documents required would be-
    • A copy and original of parent’s passports with residence permits
    • Copy of attested marriage certificate
    • Discharge summary of Mom and baby from the hospital
    • Notification of birth (from the hospital where baby was delivered)
  8. Applying for a passport: Baby’s passport will be required to apply for his/her residency visa. Some countries provide a one-year passport so that the newborn can travel. Check the procedure of obtaining baby’s passport as per your country. For some western countries, it is important to have a citizenship document before the passport is issued. So, it is important to initiate the process for obtaining citizenship document and passport as soon as the baby is born since both these documents will be required for residency visa and Emirates ID card.
  9. Applying for residency Visa: Residency Visa should be applied within 120 days from the date of birth. Failing to do so, will result in a penalty of AED 100 for each day over the 120-period. In order to apply for your child’s residency visa, you’ll need:
    • Attested copy of your baby’s birth certificate
    • Baby’s Passport
    • Three passport sized photos of baby, with his/ her eyes open
    • Original Passports and Valid UAE residence visas of both the parents
    • Original marriage certificate of parents attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
    • Baby’s Birth Notification (given by the hospital where baby is delivered having hospital’s stamp on it)
    • A copy of the salary certificate, job contract and tenancy contract (attested by Dubai’s Land Department) of the baby’s sponsor.
    • Application Form
    • Emirate IDs copy of both parents

Have you given birth in Dubai as an Expat? What else is required for a smooth delivery and paperwork, do share with us.