Need expat info for UAE?
The Ultimate Happiness: Having a Baby in the UAE
- Having contacts with experience is important when making important choices about your pregnancy.
- Make sure you have health insurance, so you can enjoy maternity benefits.
- Know which rights you have regarding maternity leave and getting paid during this time.
- All the paperwork isn’t the most fun part, but it has to be taken care of as soon as possible.
Something that is good to keep in mind — because in many countries this isn’t an actual problem — is that in the UAE you have to be married when you’re planning on having a baby. Not being married and giving birth can cause some serious problems during the nine months and the period after delivery. There are several occasions where you’ll have to show your marriage certificate, starting with the first check-up in the hospital. Also, giving birth at home is something that’s not possible.
Benefit from the Experiences of Other Women
Having contact with women who already gave birth in the UAE is something very important for making the right choices. They can give you the best advice on which hospital is the best to give birth in. Always keep in mind that there are some differences between the government and private hospitals.
If you choose to use government healthcare for prenatal care and delivery, you should keep in mind that government hospitals have Islamic customs and that it is possible that your husband will not be allowed to accompany you in the pre-labor room and/or for the actual birth. It’s also likely that you’ll have a different doctor at each appointment, including the actual delivery.
Private hospitals allow you to have a more personal experience. At these hospitals you can choose a prenatal package, which includes all routine tests and ultrasound scans. Another thing they can help you with is finding a gynecologist, obstetrician, and a midwife.
Making Use of Maternity Benefits — Watch Out for Pitfalls
Keep in mind that you need an insurance policy for at least twelve months before you get pregnant. If you are already pregnant when you take out insurance, you will not be able to make use of the maternity benefits you’re looking for. If you’re in this situation, you can always choose a hospital that offers maternity packages.
In general, all insurance policies include some sort of maternity benefits or packages. However, the benefits can vary per policy — from the actual delivery to prenatal care and newborn care. Also, you should pay attention to the limit of your insurance policy, so you have a general idea of how much everything altogether will cost.
Do you need more information? We have an article that explains everything about health insurance in the UAE.
Taking Your Well-Needed Rest — Maternity Leave
According to the UAE Labor Law, a woman is entitled to 45 days of full paid maternity leave — including the period before and after the delivery — if she has worked for her current employer for at least one year. If that’s not the case, she’s entitled to only half the period of paid leave. After the 45 days, the maternity leave can be extended by a maximum of ten days without pay.
During the 18 months after childbirth, a woman has the right to have two daily breaks of a maximum of 30 minutes each for the purpose of nursing her child. These breaks are considered part of the working hours and will therefore be paid.
Taking Care of the Paperwork
There are several documents you have to apply for when your baby is born.
The Birth Certificate
The birth certificate is the first thing you have to take care of. But you don’t have to rush to get it immediately — the maximum period of time you have to register your child in the UAE is 30 days. The hospital where your baby is born will give you a birth notification. With this notification you can apply for the birth certificate. The place where you have to apply and the documents you have to bring are different in each emirate, so make sure to check the exact procedure in your emirate. In general, in addition to the birth certificate, you have to bring the following documents:
- the valid passports of both parents
- the Emirate IDs of both parents
- the UAE residence visas of both parents
- the original marriage certificate
The fee for a birth certificate is 50 AED. Don’t forget to get the birth certificate attested after you’ve received it.
The next thing you need for your newborn is a passport. For this, you have to pay a visit to your embassy in the UAE. In general, you have to bring the following documents:
- a copy of the birth certificate
- the valid passports of both parents
- some passport-sized photos of the baby
Always check with your embassy which documents you have to bring, as this can vary. Many embassies also require the original marriage contract of the parents.
The Emirates ID Card
With the passport, you can apply for an Emirates ID card. You can get this at the Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA).
- the original birth certificate
- the Emirates ID card of one parent
- the original passport of one parent
- the original passport of the baby
The costs for an ID card are 100 AED per year and 70 AED for the typing center services. After the payment of the fees, you’ll receive a message stating where you can register for the ID card — this will be at one of the service centers. There you have to submit the typing center receipt with a valid passport and complete the registration procedures. You will then receive a message when you can collect the Emirates ID card.
The Residence Visa
The very last thing your newborn needs is a residence visa for the UAE. You can find more information about this process in our article about obtaining residence visas for family members in the UAE.
We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.