How to Become a Nurse in Dubai: Your Ultimate Guide

Sep 03, 2023

Looking to launch a fulfilling nursing career in one of the world’s most modern cities.

Currently, Dubai is a very popular choice for registered nurses, as the demand for healthcare professionals in the UAE increases.

After the pandemic, there has been ongoing investment in healthcare, attracting nurses and other medical professionals from around the world to seize these opportunities. 

It's easy to understand why, as the benefits for nurses in Dubai include a tax-free salary, state-of-the-art facilities, and exceptional career growth opportunities.

If you want to discover how to kick-start your nursing career in Dubai, read on to understand everything from how to get started, to interview tips and advice on how to find the perfect recruitment agency.

If this sounds like an opportunity you can’t miss out on, you can find all the steps you will need to take to get there below.


Understanding the Nursing Profession in Dubai

If you are now considering a nursing career in Dubai, it’s important to understand how the industry works.

As mentioned, the demand for healthcare professionals is constantly growing, and the UAE is welcoming thousands of medical workers each year.

This trend is expected to continue. In fact, in May 2023, the Khaleej Times published a forecast from Colliers Healthcare & Education Market Intelligence Report. It predicted that by 2030, Dubai will need an additional 11,000 nurses to meet the demands of a growing and aging population. 

Apart from job stability, the benefits of working as a nurse in Dubai include:

  • Tax-free Salary
  • Top of the range medical facilities
  • Full employment visa and medical insurance
  • Accommodation
  • Great quality of life
  • 30 days annual vacation
  • Career growth & development


Qualifications needed for becoming a nurse in Dubai

Starting a nursing career in Dubai isn’t just a decision, it’s a journey that requires dedication, planning and meeting specific qualifications.

To enjoy the advantages of a nursing career in the UAE, you must show that you possess the required certifications. The qualifications needed to work as a nurse in Dubai are as follows: 

  • BSc in Nursing (should have lasted at least 3 years and be from an accredited academic institution
  • 2 years of working experience
  • Basic Life Support Certificate

Getting Registered as a Nurse in Dubai

If you meet the qualifications to become a nurse, your next step is to register with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA). This organization licenses and registers all medical professionals in Dubai, and you must complete this process to work there.

Note: If you aim to work in Abu Dhabi or any other emirate besides Dubai, the DHA is not the appropriate body for registration. In that case, you'll need to register with HAAD for Abu Dhabi or MOH for other emirates. 

To become a registered nurse in Dubai, you must provide the following essential documents for DHA registration: 

  • High School Certificate 
  • Certificate of Completion for an Approved Nursing or Midwifery Program
  • Transcript from the Approved Nursing or Midwifery Program
  • Official Certificate of Experience
  • Valid Registration/License to Practice in the Country of Graduation and/or Last Employment
  • Copy of Passport

DHA License Exam 

After your documents are submitted and accepted, you will need to prepare for a mandatory DHA License Exam. This exam is not only for aspiring nurses but also for Nursing Assistants and other medical professionals who wish to practice in Dubai. 

Next Steps 

Once you pass the DHA License Exam, you'll receive a DHA Eligibility Letter. With this in hand, you can proceed to the next phase - applying for your first nursing job in Dubai.

Searching for a job – Interview Tips

Searching for a job, especially in a new country, can feel overwhelming at first. If you're not sure where to begin, don't worry.

There are several reliable resources to kickstart your job search. Online job portals such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and Gulf Talent frequently post nursing vacancies in Dubai. Doing your due research on these platforms will give you valuable insights into the facilities and companies that are currently hiring, the benefits they offer, and the qualifications they expect from candidates.

However, it can be especially beneficial to contact a healthcare recruitment agency for help in finding a position. ACOUP, as the leading healthcare recruitment agency in the UAE and UK, specializes in matching candidates with legitimate employers that suit their experience and skills. With ACOUP's expertise, you'll receive personalized assistance in finding the right opportunity for you.

There are a range of jobs available in the UAE for nurses and nursring assistants, in both medical facilities and in private care. Home care nurses will still complete similar tasks, but the job description, employer and working hours may differ to clinical roles. 

As you move through the hiring process, you'll probably be invited for an interview, either in-person or virtually. While the prospect might feel intimidating, a well-prepared candidate is more likely to find the experience rewarding. Follow these simple yet effective tips to ensure you're putting your best foot forward:

Do your research – In advance of the interview, make sure you have researched the employer, how their organization operates and what services they offer. Also research the role, what specific requirements did they ask for and how does your experience match that.

Be prompt and well-presented – It’s essential to arrive on time and make a good first impression on your potential employer. Dressing well and appearing smart, clean, and organized will benefit you hugely when it comes to your assessment as a candidate.

Take your documents – Make sure you come to the interview with your certifications and required documentation, such as your educational certificates or passport copy.

Prepare questions to ask – At the end of most interviews, you’re likely to be asked if you have anything you would like to know. Having nothing to say here can make you appear switched off, so you might want to ask some of the following:

  • What kind of career growth opportunities are there?
  • How do you measure success?
  • What kind of training opportunities do you provide

The questions you will be asked in a nursing interview can vary depending on the specific type of nursing position, facility, and medical field.

However, most tend to be based around asking you about these topics

  • Patient Care
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability
  • Attention to detail
  • Time Management

To assess you, interviewers for nursing roles will also often ask you to back your answers up with evidence, for example to “share a time when…”

Examples of this could be:

  • “Tell us about a time when you dealt with a difficult patient.”
  • “Tell us about a time when you had to display leadership skills.”
  • “Tell us how you explain medical issues to patients/families without using medical jargon.

What is a Nurse’s Salary in Dubai? – Growth opportunities

After performing well at the interview, you will hopefully have received a job offer, and the next stage is to finalize your salary and benefits and start date.

Like any role, nursing salaries also fluctuate depending on experience, location, and employer. However, all salaries in the UAE are currently tax-free, meaning you keep everything that you earn.

If you have only just moved to Dubai, and this is your first nursing role in the UAE, it may be that you start on the lower end of the salary scale.  This can begin at around AED4,000 – AED5,000 per month. Your specific role, such as working in a hospital or as a home health nurse., could also influence this amount.

From here, salaries can grow to anywhere between AED5,000 up to AED10,000, with your UAE and medical experience all large factors.

Additional qualifications can further boost your earnings. For instance, being bilingual in English and Arabic, or having specialised training, can make you more marketable and potentially lead to a higher salary. 


Benefits of Becoming a Nurse in Dubai

Competitive Salaries

As discussed earlier, salaries for nurses in Dubai are well funded, with great opportunities for growth as your career expands. 

Tax-free Income

In addition to a considerable salary that will develop over time, you will not pay any tax on your monthly or annual salary.

Professional Development Opportunities

As healthcare in the UAE continues to expand, nurses in Dubai will have opportunities for promotion, in addition to working in state-of-the-art facilities alongside experienced medical professionals

Multicultural Work Environment

Dubai is home to an incredibly rich mixture of different cultures and people, allowing for some special and unique working environments.

Bringing knowledge and skills from all around the world, you’re guaranteed to learn from others and develop your skills while working here.

Additional Perks and Benefits

As well as the above benefits, a nurse role in Dubai also often comes with additional perks that are included in the company package. This can include accommodation or a housing allowance, health insurance, an annual flight ticket and more.


Launching a nursing career in Dubai offers and unparalleled blend of professional and personal benefits. As the healthcare landscape in the UAE continues to flourish, now is an opportune time to consider Dubai as your next career destination. With state-of-the-art medical facilities, attractive tax-free salaries, and ample career growth opportunities, the advantages are clear.

If you've been contemplating a move to Dubai for your nursing career, there's never been a better time to take the plunge. With this guide in hand, you're well-equipped to navigate the journey ahead. Turn your aspirations into reality and become part of the rapidly growing healthcare community in Dubai. 

You can find more information and apply to become a nurse in Dubai now on the ACOUP Recruitment Drive.