Daily Archives: August 15, 2017

Expat Guide to Healthcare in Dubai

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People leave their home countries for a variety of reasons. New job, marriage, education, adventures or a fresh page in life to start everything from scratch. It is both exciting and overwhelming to move to a whole different country. Aside from packing and paperwork, there are so many things that you need to research. Language, culture, currency, job, legal requirements, healthcare, and many other things. If you are reading this article then you hold the ticket to Dubai and want to know a little more about the city. While, I would love to cover all of this, for now, I will focus on one aspect and give you a guide to healthcare. Stay with me to learn what you need to have or do as an expat in Dubai to get healthcare.

The healthcare regulations for foreigners

Several years ago Dubai had an open-door medical services policy for foreigners, however, the privilege stopped in the 90s. Hospitals were packed with foreigners and there was no room left for the locals. Thus, the government decided to modify the regulations on insurance but still keep it mandatory. It does not matter if you’re a local or an expat, if you work in Dubai, your company has to provide you with healthcare, keep in mind that only for you and not your family.

Expats can also buy private insurance packages, they also are allowed to apply for a health card. For the latter, they have to submit an application to the Ministry of health. The advantage of a medical card is that you can use it in an emergency given that you physically have the card with you.

Medicine in Dubai

You might not need a serious medical treatment, but pills for headaches are going to be necessary every now and then. The Health Ministry is very strict on what kind of medicine expats can bring into the city, the supply has to for maximum 3 months or 12 months with a special letter from the doctor. If you need medicine, which is prohibited in the city or permitted with a special prescription, you will have to contact the Customer Service Centre of the drug control department to get guidelines.

 

Healthcare sector is not so complicated in Dubai. Once you have an insurance, you can be sure that in case of a problem, the doctors of Dubai will take a good care of you, without skyrocketing bills.

THE BEAUTY OF MIRACLE AND BUTTERFLY GARDENS

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Millions and millions of flowers in the desert. Colorful, diverse, vivid, bright. It sounds like a miracle? No wonder the largest natural flowers garden in the world in Dubai got its name the Miracle Garden. Yet another project that out dares natural conditions, this garden also has the record in Guinness Book of Records for its longest wall of flowers. Blooming flowers, which number is estimated to 45 million, are made into designs, shapes and structures, horizontal and vertical, varying from swans, abstract flower designs to real-size version of the Emirates A380 Flight, being the world’s largest floral installation.

Its undoubted attractiveness for visitors is proved by the fact that it had around 2 million visits just in the first month after opening in 2013. As it was made to be the renewable, it offers new design solutions every season, and keeps being one of the favorite tourist outdoor location.

 

But, if that was not miraculous enough, imagine the Butterfly garden. Located just next to the Miracle Garden, it is covering 1800 square meters and it is the biggest covered butterfly garden in the word. It includes butterfly museum and butterfly flower park, consisting of nine climate-controlled domes – each being perfect environment for 24 different variety of butterflies from all over the world, all together containing around 15000 butterflies. The temperature is adjusted to 24C to be more suitable for the visitors, although butterflies like to live on 28C.

 

Butterfly garden was a solution for a whole year around tourist attraction, as Miracle Garden can not be opened during summer. Now there is nature with plants and flowers indoors. The most impressive design in this part of the park is the collage made of hundreds of different butterflies representing the head of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai.

 

Butterfly park seems to offer unique experience to its visitors, as the butterflies are flying all over the domes and people are allowed to touch them and interact with them, but they are instructed how not to hurt them. But they are not just lovely and colorful, their life cycle and metamorphosis is stunning and visitors can actually witness it in the garden. The best impression of butterfly presence is described by visitors, who didn’t notice any butterflies in the first place, but then “pair whooshed past our head. Then, suddenly, they are everywhere, floating down from hanging trays of fruit and nectar, playfully chasing each other around the domes and dancing around the structure’s ceiling”

 

Being such a success, the Miracle and Butterfly gardens show the need for natural theme parks, so the plan for the future is to expand the existing and make different types of gardens such as a bird garden, and a koi fish garden.

PAPERLESS GOVERNMENT BY 2021

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It seems that there is no place as determined to develop towards the future as Dubai. The list of large scale projects that were seemingly unimaginable, but were brought to fruition is quite impressive. Their will and determination have driven them past every obstacle, the only question is what is next? Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council announced that all Dubai Government departments will stop using paper documents by the year 2021. Think about ecology, think about waste, but also about time and money spent on complicated bureaucratic transactions and you might find the reasons behind this decision.

 

The first image that appears in your head – administrative and bureaucratic offices floated with documents, files and folders. Paper documents were the irresistible chaotic element of every office and governmental institution in the world. The fact is that with the use of computers, paperwork become obvious unnecessary double, but for some reason it also seemed unavoidable part of bureaucracy. So, the news that the last paper will be issued in 2012 is just another revolutionary and visionary tendency coming from Dubai. It actually means that all transactions will become digital, and that should finally save time for everyone involved in the process of paperwork.

 

Paper free government is part of the wider platform called Smart Dubai, the ambitious project that will host all the emirate’s data. It will be implemented in couple of phases, the first of which has already begun in 2015 when all bills and other essential transactions were transferred online. Other phases include compiling data, analyzing data and serving government agencies in an adequate way. Digitization of paper documents seemed inevitable for a long time. Old institutions seemed inefficient and slow. The fact is that implementation of the new system will take time and bring new challenges, but the determination to solve all the obstacles should make it finally possible.

 

This information revolution would save 25 million work hours annually and cut almost 100 million paper transactions. Not to mention time wasted by citizens in their attempts to provide documents they need. The goal is clear. And as Sheikh Hamdan said: “We are looking to build a truly smart city, one that will use technology as the key to a balanced and happy life.” We might miss the smell of dusty offices full of piles of paper. Or maybe not.