Exemption Criteria for HAAD, DHA, MOH & DHCC UAE Medical License Exams

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The healthcare system of the United Arab Emirates is run by four regulatory authorities namely, DHA, HAAD, MOH, and DHCC. They are responsible for making sure that the Emirati Nationals and foreigner residents receive the best possible treatment and health care. In addition, these regulatory authorities are also responsible for enforcing quality standards for licensure through license examinations. Doctors and healthcare professionals have to take these exams for being licensed in order to be allowed to apply for jobs and practice in UAE.



Recently we wrote an article where we discussed salary of doctors in UAE based on factors such as academic background, qualifications, experience, the area of specialty and country of nationality. And since then, we have been receiving too many emails inquiring exemption criteria for HAAD, DHA, MOH & DHCC license exams. So we decided to write a detailed article and explain the eligibility criteria for exemption from UAE medical licensing exams.

The Burj Khalifa
PHOTO: The Burj Khalifa

But before we go on into details regarding exemptions from HAAD, DHA, MOH & DHCC license exams, let’s take a look at the authorities awarding these licenses and their validity in different Emirates.

Types of Healthcare Licenses in UAE

The UAE healthcare licenses are as follows:

  • DHA License: This license is granted by “Dubai Health Authority” for hospital jobs based in Dubai.
  • HAAD License: This license is granted by “Health Authority of Abu Dhabi” for hospital jobs in Al-Ain and Abu Dhabi.
  • MOH License: This license is granted by the “Ministry of Health” for positions in Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah or Umm al Quwain.
  • DHCC License: This license is valid for job in Dubai Healthcare City

Requirements for taking UAE Medical License Exams

  1. MBBS or equivalent qualification from a recognized institution.
  2. Completion of house job (internship).
  3. Additional two years of clinical experience.

Alright, we have discussed the basics, now let’s get to the main topic without further ado. 🙂

We will try to simplify everything as much as possible so that you’ll have a clear understanding of the exemption rules.



Exemption Criteria for HAAD, DHA, MOH & DHCC Medical License Exams

The regulatory authorities have specified certain categories of health care professions and professionals to be eligible for exemption from all components of the examination requirement for licensure, subject to satisfying DHA, HAAD, MOH, DHCC set criteria (mentioned below in tables).




This aims to encourage qualified and skilled healthcare professionals to apply for a DHA, HAAD, MOH, DHCC license to practice in the United Arab Emirates and to ensure that regulations are applied in an efficient and effective manner.

List of Recognized Country Specific Competent Authorities and Healthcare Professions Exempted from Licensure Examination

  1. The United States of America
  2. Australia,
  3. Canada,
  4. Ireland,
  5. New Zealand,
  6. South Africa,
  7. The United Kingdom

 

A. Medical Practitioner

Applicants demonstrating valid examination pass record of the following recognized international examinations (shown below) will be exempted from ALL COMPONENTS of licensing exam as defined by Professional Qualification Requirements (PQR):




COUNTRY EQUIVALENCY ASSESSMENT ABBREVIATION
USA United States Medical Licensing Examination Step III USMLE Step III
Canada Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part II MCCQE part II
Ireland * Ireland Temporary Registration Assessment Scheme Part III
OR
* Pre-Registration Examination System
Australia Australian Medical Council Examination AMC
New Zealand New Zealand Registration Examination NZREX
UK *Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board test (PLAB I and II) with valid registration with the General Medical Council (GMC, UK) PLAB II

 

B. Consultant Physicians

Applicants demonstrating valid examination pass record of the following recognized international examinations (shown below) will be exempted from ALL COMPONENTS of licensing exam as defined by Professional Qualification Requirements (PQR):

COUNTRY EQUIVALENCY ASSESSMENT
USA American Board of Medical Specialty Certification
UK * Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training (C.C.S.T.)or
* Certificate of Completion of Training (C.C.T.)or
* Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) or evidence of
inclusion in the Specialist Register in a specialty that is among the UK C.C.T.
specialties* or
* Certificate of Completion of Training in General Practice
Australia Fellowship of the Royal College/ Colleges Certification
Canada

* Specialization Certificate of the RCPS

OR

* Certification by the College of Family Physicians Canada (CFPC)

Ireland A Certificate of Full Registration, Medical Council of Ireland
New Zealand Fellowship of the Royal College/ Colleges Certification

 

C. Specialist Consultant

Applicants demonstrating valid examination pass record of the following recognized international examinations (shown below) will be exempted from ALL COMPONENTS of licensing exam as defined by Professional Qualification Requirements (PQR):

COUNTRY EQUIVALENCY ASSESSMENT
USA American Board of Medical Specialty Certification
UK * Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training (C.C.S.T.)or
* Certificate of Completion of Training (C.C.T.)or
* Certificate of Completion of Training in General Practice (GPST)
* Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) or evidence of
inclusion in the Specialist Register in a specialty that is among the UK C.C.T.
specialties*
Australia Fellowship of the Royal College/ Colleges Certification
Canada

* Specialization Certificate of the RCPS

OR

* Certification by the College of Family Physicians Canada (CFPC)

Ireland Certificate of Specialist Doctor, Medical Council of Ireland
New Zealand Fellowship of the Royal College/ Colleges Certification

 

We hope that the eligibility criteria for exemption from UAE Medical License Exams (DHA, HAAD, MOH and DHCC) is clear to you now.

GOOD LUCK! 🙂

Got any question? Please discuss it with us by using the comment box below. 🙂

124 COMMENTS

  1. What if you do specialisation from Qatar? It has ACGME accreditation. Do you still have to appear in licensing exam?

  2. i am a specialist urologist in pakistan and habe done FCPS urology more than 2 years back from pakistan.
    I want to give HAAD.
    Is written exam exempted.
    Wat is required for viva/interview.
    When can i Give HAAD.
    How to appear in HAAD.i am isb based.

    • Dr. Shuja Muhammad as mentioned in this article above. Only those who have completed their education/ specialization from listed countries are exempted from exam. You have done your FCPS so you are eligible to apply but you have to appear in exam. You do not need to worry about exam as you have already appeared and passed FCPS, HAAD or DHA exams are but less tough than FCPS 🙂

      All the best! 🙂

  3. Hi, I have done MS OBGY from YSMU, Armenia I have MCI Registeration number of India as MBBS, I have also cleared Part 1 Mrcog from London, Can I be exempted from some part and why should I do to practice in UAE

  4. Thanks for such meaningful post.
    Can u plz share the timeline of applying like are the positions open all round the year or there is a specific month. Secondly is there any centralized point where we have to send our credentials . Kindly guide on exactly where to send our cv and other documents .
    Once again thanks a Lot for so purposeful post .May God fulfill all ur wishes and bless u with a wonderful and bright future.
    ?

  5. Person can clear plab 2 right after housejob. So in this case he dont need to have two year clinic experience and after passing plab he can work in uae.
    Am I right?
    Please confirm it.

  6. I have done specialization in Gynae (fcps)want to know for dha is there any specific exam for Gynae specialist?written or only interview

  7. I have MOH UAE evaluation certificate which is valid till April 2018. If I don’t get a job till the validity date, can I extend my evaluation certificate validity date or I have to again appear in MOH UAE exam to get a license

    • Hello,

      I am a physician from Egypt. Please guide how I can pass the MOH exam in UAE. Is it similar to exams such as USMLE, AMC, PLAB etc? Please advise. Thanks!

  8. Hi.. What about speciality certificate exam clearance from uk. Does it got exemption from license and want to know whether the certificate is considered for specialist category or not?

  9. Hi
    If u have done master in clinical embryology from australian do u still need a license to work in dubai as an embryologist
    Thnx

  10. What about who has passed saudi speciality board .sle.
    I am dr sibghat ullah memon anaesthetist mcps anaesthesia looking for job in anaesthesia department Thanks

  11. Is any time required for which u must have passed plab exam
    I cleared my plab 2 2 yrs back and now am doing speciality training for mrcog in pakistan
    Am i exepmt from licensing exams and can i apply theredirectly for my remaining training?
    Where can i find ur other posts or blogs

  12. I have completed MD internal medicine from INDIA..this year … I want to go to UAE please inform me the procedure to get Dubai…is it necessary to apply for the exam..or it is better to do MRCP and to apply for HAAD

  13. I have Complete MRCPI amd 2 From RCPI Ireland in obstetrics and Gyneacology and I have post mrcpi experience should I go for specialist exam

    • You’re exempted from these licensure exams as you have completed MRCP (all 3 steps). You can directly apply for the license to practice in UAE. 🙂

  14. Thanks for this information. What about the other medical professionals? Nurses, Medical lab technicians ,medical lab assistant so and Radiographers. Please let me know. Thanks

    • HAAD and DHA have very clear guidelines and procedure on how to apply for licensing for all healthcare related professionals including Nurses, Lab Technicians, Radiographers etc. Which particular field/ profession you want to know.

  15. Hi…I am working as Embryologist last 7 yrs in India. I have masters degree in biotechnology. Pls guide me for requirements for working in UAE as an Embryologist.

  16. Hello sir
    I would like to know about that do we have to verify that examination pass record from DATA FLOW. Like suppose plab 2 result ?
    And if we have to verify from data flow where and in section of application we need to upload that document in data flow application.
    Kindly reply
    Thanks

  17. I have passed Plab 2 examination. I need help do I need to verify plab 2 result from data flow ?
    If yes then in which section should I upload my result in data flow application as there is no specific Place to verify the examination certificate for exemption.
    Kindly help
    Best regards

  18. hello,

    i am a neurologist from India
    If i have to work in CANADA do i have to clear MCCQE and appear for specialisation certificate of RCPS?
    OR
    Can i directly apply for Specialisation certificate of RCPS?

    Thanks

  19. I have Irish medical council General registration through exemption on basis of internship route and am working in Ireland. Plus I have passed MRCSI … am I exempted?

  20. Hello,

    I graduated from Romania did 2yrs of medical practice got registered with Irish medical council (IMC) under General registration now working in Ireland for almost 1 year now. Am i exempted from the Dubai Exam or do i need to appear for the exam?

  21. I am MBBS DGO with 15 years experience as GP and 10 Years as OBGYN. I recently cleared DHA GP exam. Please guide me about how many salary should I negotiate for. I will be highly obliged.

  22. I passed MOH exam in 2006 and I worked in Sharjah for 3 years and returned to India in 2009. Now I wish to go Sharjah again. Shall I use my old MOH license now or do I have to take retest. If yes what is the procedure.

  23. Assalamualaikum Aurangzeb
    Is PLAB 2 exam enough for exemption from MOH licensing exam or MRCP examination is also required ? I will be highly obliged if you kindly reply

    Regards

    • PLAB 2 would do enough, as indicated by their policy. If you have passed PLAB 2, you can directly apply for an exemption from the said licensure examinations and get a license-to-practice directly.

      Good luck! 🙂

  24. I completed FCP in South Africa and in PQR South Africa for CMSA is in Tier 1 but South Africa is not included in list above for exemptions in category if specialist consultant.

  25. Assalamu alaika,

    Just want to clarify about my eligibility for registration with DHA, HAAD or MOH
    – have completed 1 year internship
    -have around 3 years experience as medical officer and general practitioner in Bangladesh
    – Currently living in Australia and passed the AMC exams
    – Studying Masters in public health, due to which I have a 2.5 years gap of practice.

    It would be really helpful if you can suggest me what steps do I require now?

  26. Hi I’ve full GMC registration with licence to practice, currently in UK.
    I’ve passed FCAI( Fellowship of Royal College of Anaesthetists, Ireland) and EDAIC (European Diploma in Anaesthesia and Critical Care).
    Do I still need to clear the licencing exam?

    • Sir, we are glad to have you here. 🙂

      Looking at your credentials and work status, I believe you’re exempted from UAE’s health licensure exams.

  27. hello MR Aurangzaib Baloch
    i have been applying to uae for jobs
    they says that MRCP UK COMPLETE IS not exempted for licensing exams in uae but u mentioned its exempted
    kindly give us the link which states that mrcp uk is also exempted for DHA AND HAAD

  28. I have a Healthcare professional license from Botswana the BHPC for practicing optometrist, do I have an exemption?

    Regards,
    Gitanjali

  29. Hello. I’m a medical officer(MO) in South Africa and would like to apply for an MO or GP job in the uae. How do I go by doing this? Do I apply 1st and wait to get an offer, or do I apply for the license and the exam before the job offer?

  30. HI
    I am a Registered Respiratory Therapist by National Board of Respiratory Care, NBRC, Kansas and Respiratory Care Practitioner, licensed by Dept of Consumer Affairs, California. I would like to pursue a career in the middle east, specially in the GCC. I am a US citizen by naturalization and an Overseas Citizen of India
    It would be really appreciated, if anyone could give me an idea about the list of credentials that I should be achieving inorder to find a job opportunity in the gulf countries.
    Thank you

  31. Hello I am Dr. Yasin Mustafa MD I have cleared all USMLE STEPS Including Step 3.
    I have few queries regarding exemption.
    1.Am I exempted from all UAE Eams?
    2. Is Experience Certificate required in my case?
    3. What is the procedure to apply for job in UAE?
    Thankyou

  32. AOA, Wonderful article. Congratulations !!
    I woudl highly appreciate if you can answer my question:
    I am on Full General Registration with Irish medical Council.
    Plus I have FRCP from Royal college of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow.
    Appointment as Volunteer Asst. Medical Professor in one of US Medical School.
    Q: Would these make me eligible from exemption from Exam and would I be registered under General GP or Specialist GP ?
    Q: Which authority is quickest for assessment ? and do they offer in person visit for fast processing ?
    Kind Regards

  33. Please help me I have applied for moh license in uae under exemption criteria.i have completed my msc nursing.my primary source verification has completed.i don’t know what is the next process please help me

  34. I am Dr Farid .I completed my FRCS FROM ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS & PHYSICIAN GLASGOW IN 1999.
    BUT MY EXPERIENCE IS MOSTLY IN A/E & GENERAL PHYSICIAN.THOUGH I WORKED IN SURGERY OFF & ON .
    WOULD I WILL GET EXEMPTION FROM DHA EXAM. I AM HAVING LICENSE FROM MOH AS SPECIALIST A SURGERY SINCE 2003 I GUESS. PLEASE GUIDE/ REPLY.REGARDS

  35. Mr Baloch please assist, I completed FCP in South Africa and in PQR, South Africa for CMSA is in Tier 1 but South Africa is not included in list above for exemptions in category if specialist Physician. Do the FCP holders qualified in South Africa do exams or they are exempted? Thank u

  36. I AM MBBS WITH 17 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN OBS/GYNAE ALSO I HAVE DONE SPECIALIZED COURSE P.G DIPLOMA IN USG WHAT EXAM I HAVE TO QUALIFY FOR USG SO THAT I WORK AS A SONOLOGIST

  37. where do you declare the certificates so that you will be exempted for the assessment? im not a doctor. im a medical laboratory scientist. and i am applying for DHA. i found out that i have a certificate which could make me exempted for the assessment but i dont know where to upload or input my certificate. im at the credentialing stage of DHA. please help. thank you

  38. Hearty congratulations dear brother for giving us a wonderful article on a valuable topic.
    My wife has been working in South Africa as a registered nurse for the past 3 years. She is a certified nurse of South African Nursing Council (Sanc).
    I would like to know whether she needs to pass HAAD or DHA to work in UAE.

  39. Hello Dear Aurangzaib Baloch,
    Greetings!
    I cleared all the USMLE steps including step III and I am Indian citizen. So, will I be exempted from licensing exams? Please do spare your few precious minutes to reply.
    Regards.

      • I mean I have cleared all USMLE STEPS including step 3 but I have not undergone residency training in USA which unfortunately I have not been successful to achieve it. Only few states in USA allow to take USMLE STEP III without residency / before residency.

  40. Dear brother Aurangzaib Bloach. What are your comments about my case.I did FRCS FROM GLASGOW IN 1999. BUT MY EXPERIENCE IS MOSTLY IN GENERAL PRACTICE.REGARDD

  41. Dear Mr. Aurangzeb, Highly appreciated your kind work,
    Is any scope for Clinical Psychologist in UAE? Requirements for Eligibility?
    Looking Forward
    Nasi Dr.

  42. hello
    I am Dr Habib from Pakistan.
    I have completed my MD ( 6 years of medical education) from Kyrgyzstan in 2013 …
    how can I apply for DHA or HAAD ….

  43. Salam. Thanks for the information. Any idea about the residency/training programs in UAE? I was thinking of doing my post graduation there . Please do let me know. Thanks 🙂

  44. Asalmu alikum wrwb. I’m pursuing my B.Sc Biochemistry in chennai. In the above mentioned exams what is best for me and its procedure plz.

  45. Hello sir ; I have a question exemption criteria for consultant physician and specialist consultant is the same what is the difference between these two specialties and if a person passed MPCP in which category he is
    Although medical practitioner is general term
    1. Consultant physician
    2 . Or specialist consultant

  46. Hi there,
    Thank you for providing such an insightful article.
    I am in the process of applying for a DHA licence to be practicing Optometry in UAE. I am currently an optometrist in Australia. I studied in Australia Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry and is a part of the Optometry Board of Australia.
    Do you think I will be exempted from the licence exam?
    Thank you in advance.

  47. I am an ER Physician MCEM,qualified. Does holding GMC full registration exempt me from all the exams? Plz let me know. Thanks.

  48. Dear Aurangzaib Baloch,

    Thank you very much for this lovely and very useful website. However, I am still finding it bit difficult to understand what do I need to get can you pls help me on that?

    I have Bsc Nutrition and Dietetics degree from Cyprus and I am Registered in my country, I also have 2 years of experience in Hospital and as a Freelance Dietitian in Cyprus. Last year I have completed my MSc in the UK and I will be automatically registered in Association for Nutrition (AfN) in the UK. I would like to work in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in clinic or hospital. What license should i obtain than so I can go ahead and get registration, please ?

  49. I am Qualified Medical Laboratory Technologist with IMLT ASCPi, Currently working in Dubai since 2009 which is accreditated by College of American Pathologist .
    Is there any possibility to convert DHCC /ASCPi IMLT licence in MOH Licence.

  50. Hi im a mbbs doctor completed my 1 year house job a dhave one n half year of working experience as an general medical officer and Wmo in gyne/obs..i have done mbbs from pakistan. And currently i have done my ECFMG verification aswell…can you plz tell me im exempted from UAE licensing exams or need to give as jm intrested in working there.thanks

  51. Hi. I have a question
    I have done 1 year housejob and now completed 1 year or FCPS medicine. Do I need 1 more year of clinical experience to be eligible for HAAD? Or would this suffice

    • As per rules, graduates require two years of additional clinical experience for becoming eligible to take the UAE’s healthcare licensure exams.

  52. I have completed 20 yrs ago mbbs
    And 10yrs ago msc crra from sikkim manipal distance education university can i apply for data flow for msc crra .
    And i can get exemption for Moh .for msc crra
    Pls reply me detail as early as possible

  53. Thank u for valuable information. I passed MRCOG, I worked in the UK for almost 2 years and I have full GMC registration, am I exempted from the license test or not ?

  54. As an Australian qualified and registered Chiropractor for 17 yrs. What license and/or exemption am I entitled to, enabling me to work in UAE. Or am I restricted in any way if exempt and do not possess HAD or DHA

  55. Assalamualaikum. Requested information. i HAVE MD as basic degree. I have MCPS AND FCPS ANESTHESIA PAKISTAN. I have been working AS SENIOR SPECIALIST ANESTHESIA in KSA RIYADH SINCE 2015. I HAVE SAUDI COUNCIL LICENCE VALID. I HAVE passed already two exams that is prometric and PEARSON FOR SAUDIA. WANT TO WORK NOW IN UAE.
    I NEED YOUR GUIDANCE FOR MOH AND DHA that how can i go through and get licence to work in AJMAN OR DUBAI

  56. Thanks for above information.
    Irish Medical council registration exempt for licensing exam for MOH ? for Specialist Emergency Medicine position?
    Together of holding MRCS (UK)

  57. I’m an Occupational therapist from Indian currently residing in Kuwait. I have my HCPC registration UK. Will I be exempted from DHA exam.

  58. Many thanks for your help in advance, i have one question if you please ; can plab part 1 replace just MCQs prometric examination step for Emirates then going for clinical interview evaluation in Emirates after that before registration and going for work as medical practitioner? .

  59. If i have MRCS or MRCP ( without the GMC registration, without CCST, CCT) then am i exemted from writing the licencing exam?

  60. I am 14 years experienced doctor from Sri Lanka having
    -MBBS(Sri Lanka)
    – Post graduate Diploma in Family Medicine (Sri Lanka)
    -Australian Medical Council exam prat 1(AMC 1)
    -Occupational English Test (OET)
    What is my eligibility for Doctor job in UAE?
    Whether AMC1 eligible for exemptions?

  61. I am Arab Board of Pediatrics and Saudi Board of Pediatrics,Fellowship PICU,Still I have to apear in exame.
    How can I get material for exame as Pediatric cosultant for HAAD

  62. thank you so much for the information.i have completed doctor of medicine (MD) in community medicine in 2015 and have 3 years of experience.so i would like to get job in preventive medicine dept or doctor in public health clinic.for these two category MOH required or not?please guide me to get job in my concerned Md.

  63. Hello sir,
    thanks for your valuable information.
    I am from India ,i have done BAMS(bachelor of ayurved medicine and surgery ) completed internship and currently practicing ayurveda from past 15 months ,i just want to know which exam to apply for to practice as an ayurvedic practitioner in abroad and what will be the procedure

  64. hello every one , i have completed doctor of pharmacy in 2015 from algeria ,i have experience 3 years in a commercial company of medicine ,plz can i apply for HAAD ?

  65. Hello sir,
    I have cleared Mbbs and 1 year house job in my home country (1 year Pakistan) and have 1 year experience in gyane as HO. What will i can do
    In dubai as my husband is moving to dubai. Can i get a job as doctor if not What u can do to get job there. Thanks

  66. Dear Mr Aurangzaib Baloch,
    Good narrative and enlightening article.
    If I have a CESR from UK, on a Specialist Register of GMC UK for 6 years, With FRCS Trauma and Orth, FRCS, MS and MMBS. Currently working as a Full time Consultant in UK NHS hospital for last 5 years.
    Can I get Teir I DHA license.
    Please let me know.
    Many thanks,

  67. hi, GREAT BLOG.

    First off, I wasn’t aware of the exemption criteria. I am applying for DHA as a Medical Laboratory Technologist and got as far as scheduling an assessment date. However, I just found out that being a holder of an ASCP certificate, I am exempted from the assessment process. I had been emailing both the dataflow and the HRD but haven’t gotten any response yet on how I can continue with the application with regards to being exempted for the assessment. Can you give me an insight on how to proceed next?

    Thanks

  68. I am new to this blog and have question to get the MOH or DHA license exam to work in UAE. I am Molecular Biology technician and have certification from MB(ASCP) in USA, working since a year in Molecular Biology lab as Molecular technologist. any one has idea about exemption ? or if need to give exam what is the procedure? who should I approach? please advise if anyone has any link.. Riaz

  69. HI, I have done MD in preventive medicine and working in diabetes speciality. I have teaching experience in preventive medicine in medical college and clinical experience in tertiary care/specialist hospital as diabetogist in treating diabetes and its complications and running clinics for over 5 years. I want to relocate to uae. what exam i have to take if i want to work in university or work in hospital as diabetologist.

  70. Hi
    I am a specialist in Medicine in India. But i dont have 2 years experience post my MD. Can I be eligible for.DHA exam?

  71. Hi! I have done mbbs and have just completed my housejob would i be exempted from moh if clear plab 1 and 2 without having two years of experience?

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