Home Healthcare Healthcare Basics Emergency numbers and services in the United Arab Emirates
Last update on December 05, 2019
Keith Fernandez Written by Keith Fernandez

From the police to the coast guard, this list of emergency numbers and services in the United Arab Emirates will help you in any emergency situation.

However wonderful and safe life feels in the UAE, every now and then something can go wrong. Whether you are on a boat or dune bashing in the desert, you may need to report a crime, an accident, or simply call for help. For those moments, it is helpful to have a handy list of emergency numbers and services in the UAE.

So this helpful guide explains who to call and furthermore, how to report an emergency in the Emirates. It covers the following sections:

Note: While all emergency services in the UAE have English-speaking staff, a little knowledge of Arabic goes a long way; this can help you make yourself understood. Therefore, don’t skip those Arabic classes!

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Emergency numbers in the United Arab Emirates

The main emergency services number in the UAE is 999, which connects callers to the police. While there are different numbers for each of the emergency services, calling 999 is usually enough.

Here are the numbers for the various emergency services in the UAE:

  • Police: 999
  • Ambulance: 998
  • Fire department (civil defence): 997
  • Coastguard: 996
  • Electricity failure: 911
  • Water failure: 922

All emergency services in the UAE are toll free and you can call them from anywhere in the country.

What to do in an emergency in the United Arab Emirates

Emergency coverage in the UAE extends to several areas. Whether you are the victim of a traffic accident or caught in a fire, your first course of action should be to call the emergency services.

Emergency numbers

The emergency services operator will customarily answer in Arabic. However, English-speaking operators are available on request, as are those of other languages. When calling 999 or any of the other emergency services numbers in the UAE, make sure to clearly state:

  • your name;
  • the nature of the accident;
  • the address of the emergency;
  • how serious the situation is

As a result of recent innovations, response time has shortened in recent years. In addition, callers can expect help to arrive in under eight minutes.

Does health insurance cover the medical emergency services?

Although once free for residents and tourists in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, medical emergency services in the UAE are now billed to patients’ insurers. However, residents who have medical insurance in line with mandatory workplace sponsorship rules don’t need to worry.

On the other hand, many workplace insurance schemes only include the Essential Basic Package (EBP). This is the cheapest coverage available and costs Dh550-750 per annum – a sum typically paid by the employer. A typical EBP package provides a maximum insurance limit of Dh150,000 per annum in case of emergencies in the UAE. This covers doctor’s visits and essential hospitalization; however further coverage depends on each individual policy. Therefore, many expats in the UAE take out private health insurance so all eventualities are covered in an emergency. The following are international health insurance companies operating within the United Arab Emirates

For more information, read our Guide to health insurance in the United Arab Emirates.

Fire services in the United Arab Emirates

In order to report a fire emergency in Dubai or elsewhere in the UAE, you should call 997. This number connects you to the local civil defense hotline. In addition, each of the UAE’s emirates operates its own 24-hour emergency service.

Fire engine in the UAE

The UAE’s civil defense services also provide a range of other services. These include the approval of engineering and construction plans, the transportation of hazardous materials, and raising general fire and safety awareness. In addition, the departments have reoriented themselves towards preventative action in recent years.

For more information, visit the following websites:

Police in the United Arab Emirates

The police emergency hotline in the UAE is 999. For all non-emergencies, for instance complaints, suggestions, or if you are lost, call 901.

Each the UAE’s seven emirates is responsible for law enforcement within its borders. As such, each emirate operates its own police force, however they routinely share information with each other on various areas. Furthermore, the forces each have units to deal with protests, riot control, or heavily armed suspects. Their patrol units, particularly those of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, have an international reputation for using flashy sports cars; for example, Bugatti and Ferrari models.

Police in the UAE

Perhaps the most common reason expats call police in the UAE is for certificates of good conduct; this costs AED100. Foreign governments, employers, and other authorities may require a criminal record check for expats. This might be if they want to study or emigrate, seek naturalized citizenship, get married, or change their name. In addition, expats must verify their fingerprints against a national database at a UAE police station.

Emiratis and expatriates can also apply to be community police officers. Under the voluntary scheme, launched in 2016, hundreds of residents have been trained to liaise with the community and assist full-time police officers.

For more information, visit the following websites:

Reporting harassment and crimes anonymously in the UAE

For several years now, Dubai Police have operated a confidential helpline for expats and citizens who want to report a crime. The Al Ameen service provides a safe and confidential way to contact Dubai Police; to report crime and help maintain the security and stability of Dubai’s communities. The Al Ameen hotline is available toll free at 800 4888.

Similar services are available in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Call Abu Dhabi Police through their Aman service on 800 2626 or via SMS at 800 2828. In Sharjah, it is the Najeed service, which is reachable at 800 151, or via an SMS to 7999.

The 24-hour services started as an anonymous helpline for victims of extortion. However, it quickly evolved to become a platform of confidential reporting, covering mostly all type of cases. Residents can report all kinds of harassment and crimes, including those committed online, without legal obligations.

Accidents and healthcare emergencies in the UAE

For medical emergencies in the UAE, you should call an ambulance by dialing 998. An air ambulance may be sent for the patient if needed. Due to the fact that ambulance response times are about eight minutes, it may sometimes be quicker to drive or taxi to the nearest hospital.

Emergency departments at major hospitals in the UAE are equipped to handle any medical emergency. During medical emergencies, a hospital will accept you for initial treatment; furthermore, they may transfer you to a hospital better equipped to deal with your problem.

The UAE provides standard medical care and visitors can easily obtain medical treatment from either private or government hospitals. In case of emergency, emergency treatment to stabilize the case is free. Other treatments, however, must be paid for in cash or by credit card or medical insurance.

Since 2018, Dubai has authorized an ambulance call-out charge ranging between AED600 and AED1,200. These fees will be billed to health insurance providers. However the patient is not to bear financial liability for the services under any circumstances.

For more information on the emergency medical facilities in the UAE, consult the following websites:

Reporting a death in the United Arab Emirates 

Should a medical emergency lead to death, the deceased’s family or next of kin will need to register it and obtain a death certificate. To report a death outside a hospital, immediately call the police on 999; from anywhere in the UAE, and inform them about the incident. The police will fill out an initial death report and move the deceased to the government morgue. On the other hand, if the patient is already in hospital or being treated by emergency services, medical staff will fill out the initial death report and move the deceased to the government morgue.

The authorities at the morgue will issue a death certificate declaration. This certificate then needs to be stamped by the police, who will issue a no-objection certificate (NOC). You may require separate NOCs to have the body released, for embalming at the mortuary and for repatriation. An official death certificate will only be issued on producing this NOC.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai government portals offer detailed information on the process.

Poison control in the United Arab Emirates

The Poison and Drug Information Center in Abu Dhabi provides a free and confidential Poison Help hotline across the UAE. It provides assistance to anybody who has been exposed to a poison or has concerns about medications.

The number to call is 800 424, however it only operates during government working hours on weekdays, i.e, from 7am to 3pm, Sunday to Thursday. Outside these hours, residents are advised to call the police hotline, 999.

The Poison Help hotline provides immediate access to poison exposure management instructions. Furthermore, it offers information on potential poisons and ways to keep the family safe. Calls are answered by specialist pharmacists and/or physicians.

Emergency pharmacies in the United Arab Emirates

Several pharmacy chains, which operate in the UAE, have at least one branch in each major emirate that is open around the clock. Here is a short selection:

Emergency dentists in the United Arab Emirates

Dental emergencies, for instance trauma, fractures, injuries, and broken teeth, can occur at any time. If you cannot wait until you can speak to your regular dentist, you may want to call the ambulance helpline. Alternatively, simply call one of the following private services:

For more information on the subject, read our Guide to healthcare in the United Arab Emirates.

Cybercrimes in the United Arab Emirates

You can report cybercrimes at the nearest police station in your area or call 999 for help. Alternatively, you can report them online through the following channels:

Mental health services in the United Arab Emirates

Mental health services in the UAE generally fall short of more developed countries, and workplace-provided insurance coverage is patchy. In general, expats and residents may want to top up policies to include psychiatric support. Alternatively, they might take out private health insurance in the UAE.

As of 2019, there are no separate mental health emergency services in the UAE. Therefore, in such cases, expats are best taking preventative action and staying alert to possible red flags. However, you can ask your doctor what to do if you require emergency mental health assistance in the UAE. Alternatively, call the ambulance hotline by dialing 998 for immediate stabilization treatment.

Some mental health clinics are below:

For more information on the subject, read our Guide to mental health services in the UAE.

Drug and alcohol services in the United Arab Emirates

The UAE has strict limitations concerning the consumption of narcotic drugs and alcohol within the country. As a result, treatment for crises related to this does not compare to most developed countries.

Addiction

Because alcohol abuse remains rampant, each week patients are admitted to emergency departments with the effects of alcohol poisoning. Nevertheless, people who consume or possess alcohol are required to hold a liquor permit; otherwise they may face arrest, fines, and possible imprisonment under UAE law. As our guide explains, addicts are still at risk of being arrested and charged with alcohol-related misdemeanors. Furthermore, penalties include lengthy imprisonment and deportation.

Similarly, strict rules apply to drug abuse. New regulations introduced in 2016 emphasize treatment for addicts rather than prison sentences. The use of illegal drugs has since been downgraded to a misdemeanor. Furthermore, the possession and use of narcotic substances can result in imprisonment; trafficking in drugs remains subject to the death penalty.

Therefore, alcohol and drug users must remain cognizant of the law when calling ambulance services in case of medical emergencies.

Having said that, however, two major rehabilitation centers operate within the UAE:

In addition, the Scottish rehab center Castle Craig offers private alcohol addiction treatment in Dubai via local counselor Johanna Griffin.

Children, family, and youth services in the UAE

Family is a key social pillar of the United Arab Emirates. To support the stability of families and marital relationships, the UAE government provides free of charge family counselling and consultation. You can access this through the following channels:

In Abu Dhabi, marriage and family disputes consultations are offered over the phone. However, in Dubai, you can seek help from a social worker and make an appointment by calling Community Development Authority; toll free number 800 2121. Similarly, in Sharjah, the Women’s Protection Centre of the Social Services Department of Government of Sharjah has allocated a toll free number 800 800 700. This is to provide social, psychological, and legal counselling and solutions to domestic issues by legal, social, and psychological specialists. Furthermore, SSSD provides family consultations via its website (available only in Arabic).

Child abuse hotlines in the United Arab Emirates

In 2016, the UAE enacted legislation to protect children’s rights. The law, (Wudeema’s Law PDF), stresses that all children must be provided with:

  • appropriate living standards;
  • access to health services
  • access to education,
  • equal opportunities in essential services;
  • access to facilities without any kind of discrimination.

You can report child abuse to Ministry of Interior through the hotline number 116 111. On the other hand, you can visit the MoI’s Child Protection Centre’s website. Similarly, you can report it through the smartphone app, Hemayati (Arabic for protect me).

Other channels include:

Utility and telecommunications services in the UAE

Electricity and water failure may occur occasionally in the UAE, however this is fairly rare. If this happens, though, you can call the numbers below from anywhere in the country:

  • 911: for electricity failure
  • 922: for water failure.

In the emirate of Abu Dhabi there are also additional numbers. In Abu Dhabi city, you can reach the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company at 800 2332. Furthermore, in Al Ain, you can call Al Ain Distribution Company on 800 9008.

Road and traffic emergency services in the UAE

You must immediately report road and traffic accidents to the police in the UAE. So, you should call the police on 999 (from anywhere in the UAE), give them your location, and wait for their instructions. On the other hand, you can report a minor accident in Dubai via the Dubai Police mobile application.

Car accident

Driving away from the scene of a collision is illegal. Furthermore, failure to stop after an accident will result in a Dh500 fine, six black points; you will also have your vehicle confiscated for seven days.

If anybody involved in the accident sustains injuries, it is best to leave all vehicles exactly where they are; just wait for an ambulance to arrive.

If you need roadside assistance in the UAE, you can also call:

Marine accidents in the United Arab Emirates

Because of its wide coastline and long sailing history, water sports are popular in the UAE. However, if you need help out on the water, here are some organizations to contact:

LGBTQ+ services in the United Arab Emirates

Consensual same-sex sexual relations are criminalized in the UAE, and our guide explains more about this. Furthermore, punishments can be severe. Penalties might not only include fines, but also imprisonment, for instance. In addition, under interpretations of sharia, the punishment could even mean the death penalty. Furthermore, cross-dressing is a punishable offense, and has been prosecuted in recent times. Because of these rigid laws, no LGBTQ+ helplines exist in the UAE. Despite this, Human Rights Watch has a list of support groups and publications across the Middle East on its website.

Financial support and homelessness services in the UAE

As a result of the UAE’s high-octane lifestyle, many expats get into debt. Despite the fact that a range of government services are available, these primarily service UAE nationals. Therefore, in such a situation, expats’ first port of call should be their embassy or consulate. Despite the fact that many charities run by social groups have been established, a recent law requiring their registration has caused many to disband.

Here are some links to support groups in the UAE:

Animal services in the United Arab Emirates

Many veterinarian clinics and facilities across the UAE offer emergency services for animals around the clock, including:

Animal shelters

Animal abuse in the United Arab Emirates

If you want to report animal abuse in the UAE, you can contact the following organizations:

Animal rescue centers in the UAE 

As a result of the continuous issue of homeless cats and dogs in the UAE, several organizations aim to help the problem. These include:

Tourist services in the United Arab Emirates

The UAE places a strong focus on tourism; therefore police services in Dubai and Abu Dhabi offer special facilities for tourists; those who may be victims of crimes, fraud, or other mishaps.

In addition to the emergency numbers at the top of this guide, tourists in trouble in the UAE can call:

Embassies and diplomatic services in the United Arab Emirates

Lost or stolen property in the United Arab Emirates

If you should need to report lost or stolen property in the UAE, here are some important numbers to consult:

  • Lost bank cards: If this happens, call your bank and report the loss. In addition, they may ask you to make a police complaint. You can do so by visiting the nearest police station or calling 901.
  • Lost mobile phones: You should report theft or loss of property, including smartphones, to the police. Furthermore, to have a SIM card replaced, call your concerned provider; Etisalat: 700 017 000 or 101 from any Etisalat phone, and du: 800 155 or 155 from any du phone.
  • Lost passports: Similarly, the police are your first port of call for lost passports. After that, you will need to call your embassy or consulate.

Emergency terms and phrases in Arabic

Despite the fact that people speak English in the UAE, it sometimes helps to learn a little Arabic. Therefore, here is a glossary of useful Arabic terms and phrases that relate to emergencies:

  • markaz al-šurṭah: police station
  • men faḍlak etteṣel belbūlīs: call the police, please
  • mustašfā: hospital
  • taʾmīn: medical insurance
  • dawāʾ: medicine
  • duktūr: doctor
  • ‘azmah qalbiyyah: heart attack
  • mumken tesāʿednī?: can you help me?
  • meš lāʾī el-bāsbūr betāʿī: I lost my passport