Wait times slashed for Dubai visa health check

DHA launches Salem, a paperless health screening system that cuts down customer waiting time and has zero human intervention.

Dubai: A new paperless electronic health screening system launched by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) will revolutionise the issuance of medical fitness results for visa procedures by processing the identity details in less than a minute instead of under an hour, said a senior official.

Salem, the new smart system, is live and integrated with the systems at all 16 DHA medical fitness centres and will cut down customer waiting time, bring human intervention to zero and convey blood and X-ray reports electronically.

Launching the new system, Dr Maisa Al Bustani, director of the Medical Fitness Services Department at DHA, explained: “Residents seeking to renew their residence visa can either visit one of the 65 accredited and approved centres to update their email [IDs] and phone numbers.

“The centre will generate a bar code, which is actually an automated data filing system retrieving the identity details of the individual already stored with the General Directorate of Foreign Residency Affairs (GDRFA).

“Alternatively, if you do not want to get the bar code, the individual can go directly to any of the 16 medical fitness centres and disclose their visa number and go in for the occupational health screening.

“The individual gets a text message alert and all results are conveyed to the applicant via email.”

The move is significant given the vast number of people who require medical fitness services.

In 2015, the total number of people who visited DHA-run medical fitness centres were 2,051,802. Of these, 843,085 were new applicants.

Medical fitness screening is mandatory for all expats in the UAE and is a prerequisite for a residency, employment or education visa.

The launch of Salem is in line with the Dubai 2021 strategy and the authority’s smart health initiatives that aims to provide customers with added convenience and quicker processing time.

Amani Al Jasmi, head of IT at DHA, added: “Salem is integrated with the GDRFA and the National Emirates ID Authority and very soon a smart app will be made available to residents to fill in these occupational health screening prerequisites. However, all security aspects will be vetted before such a smart app is launched.”

Under Salem, companies with more than 50 employees do not need to go through service centres as DHA provides them with unique usernames and passwords so that they can directly fill the applications online by logging on to

Companies with less than 50 employees need to go through service centres to fill out their application for visa issuance and renewal.

They can log onto the DHA website to find a list of accredited typing centres. Most of the medical fitness centres have a typing centre on the same premises and they are accredited.

This is to provide added convenience in one location to the customer.

The DHA has also accredited stand-alone service centres that meet its criteria.

“All typing centres are required to follow quality standards set by DHA to ensure customer happiness and professional service,” said Al Bustani.

She added: “We will also make sure that these centres are evenly distributed across Dubai to ensure that residents are able to go to a centre close to their home.”

The types of occupational health screening options available selectively at the 16 medical fitness centres are:

The five-day regular medical screening at Dh260;
The 48-hour VIP service;
The 24-hour service;
The four-hour service; and
A new two-hour service is soon to be introduced at Dh1,020 which will be available at Dubai Business Village in Deira.

The DHA also offers Tawajood, a fast-track service for corporate employees where a technician visits the office or home of the individual who has requested for this service and conducts the medical fitness tests required on the spot.

For every request, a maximum of 70 employees are tested. This saves the time of the business community as their employees can get the tests done in their offices.

Dr Bustani added that this service is also beneficial for homemakers who do not wish to go to a medical fitness centre to renew their visa. A request for this service can be made using the DHA’s website

Salem was launched by the DHA director-general at the inauguration of a sprawling new Medical Fitness Centre in Jumeirah Lake Towers which will have a capacity to process 5,000 occupational health screening tests daily for visa renewal.