Dubai: If you need to get tested for COVID-19, whether because you are experiencing certain symptoms or because you need a negative test result to travel or attend an event, you may be wondering where to go to get a PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test and how much it would cost.
Regardless of where you are living, health authorities across the UAE have made it extremely easy to get tested for COVID-19, by setting up testing centres and also allowing private healthcare providers to conduct PCR tests. However, how much it will cost you can depend on where you go and also how quickly you need to get the results. Many places may charge you a slightly higher price for premium services (like at-home testing) or a quicker result.
Here is a breakdown of how much a PCR test can cost you:
1. Free PCR tests
PCR tests can be free, in case you visit a centre managed by the Emirates Health Services (EHS) – this is available for all UAE residents. EHS operates several facilities across the UAE, with PCR test centres in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah.
However, you will need to book an appointment using the COVID-19 EHS app, which is available for Apple and Android devices.
Also, as the tests are free of charge, it is advisable to book an appointment well in advance as most centres may not accept walk-in requests.
For more information, call EHS contact centre on 800 8877.
You can also get a list of the nearest location where you can get a PCR test by downloading the COVID-19 EHS app.
DHA – free tests for certain categories
As per the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), COVID-19 test is free only for the following categories:
• UAE Nationals
• Son / Daughter of UAE National mother
• Households of UAE Nationals
• Senior citizens & Residents (above the age of 50)
• Pregnant women
• People of determination (not their Families if residents)
• Patients with chronic diseases: “Diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, arteries, tumors and rheumatism, chronic liver and kidney disease, brain and nerves (with condition of medical report)
Free test is provided every four months unless the patient develops COVID-19 symptoms, is in contact with a positive case or has developed a risk :pregnancy / chronic disease.
You will receive an SMS within 24 hours or you can access the result on DHA App, under patients’ services, lab results.
If you belong to any of the following categories, you can book a free PCR test, once every four months:
• UAE Nationals
• Children of Emirati Women
• Domestic workers within Emirati households
• Residents and citizens above the age of 50
• People with chronic diseases
• People of Determination
• Pregnant Women
You can book an appointment at any of the Seha test centres in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah or Fujairah.
To book an appointment, download the Seha app and book a test screening for COVID-19.
PCR test for Dh50
All Seha facilities – which have locations in every emirate in the UAE – offer a PCR test for Dh50. To book an appointment, you would need to download the Seha app, which is available for Apple and Android devices.
PCR test up to Dh150
At other PCR test centres in the UAE, including private hospitals and clinics, the costs can vary and go up to Dh150.