The United Arab Emirates

HPV Country Profile

Statistics and Data Analytics


cases in 2018



deaths in 2018

Status of National HPV Vaccination Programme

The HPV vaccine is currently included in the UAE’s national immunization program.


General Information

Human Papillomavirus

Burden of HPV infection

In UAE, about 2.3% of women in the general population are estimated to have HPV type 16 or 18 at a given time, which causes approximately 72.4% of invasive cervical cancers in the country.1 A 2018 study found that the most common strains of HPV were HPV types 16, 31 and 18.4 Another study from 2014 showed that 10% of patients tested had HPV.5

Burden of cervical cancer: Cervical cancer, caused by HPV, is the seventh leading cause of cancer deaths in women in UAE, causing at least 56 deaths annually among the population of 1.9 million women aged 15 years and older who are at risk for the disease.1,2 Between 2012 and 2018, the number of deaths every year due to cervical cancer doubled (28 in 2012 to 56 in 2018), and if decisive action is not taken at the national level, annual deaths due to the disease will more than quadruple by 2040, reaching 246 deaths per year.3 In UAE, at least 108 women are newly diagnosed with cervical cancer each year.

6.4 per 100,000 women in UAE contract cervical cancer annually and 4.4 per 100,000 women die due to the disease each year in UAE. Among countries in the MENA region (as defined by UNAIDS), the UAE’s death and incidence rates due to cervical cancer are a bit higher than average. For example, Somalia and Morocco have the highest incidence and mortality rates, with 24.0 and 17.2 women per 100,000 being newly diagnosed with cervical cancer annually and at least 21.9 and 12.6 women per 100,000 dying due to cervical cancer per year, respectively. Whereas Iran, Iraq and Yemen have the lowest (around 2 per 100,000 women are diagnosed per year and about 1 per 100,000 die because of cervical cancer annually).2

Cervical cancer incidence and mortality rate projections
Research and Publications
  1. Albawardi, Alia, et al. “Frequency of Rare and Multi Viral High-Risk HPV Types Infection in Cervical High Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions in a Non-Native Dominant Middle Eastern Country: A Polymerase Chain Reaction-Based Pilot Study.” Diagnostic Pathology, vol. 13, no. 1, June 2018, p. 42, doi:10.1186/s13000-018-0716-x.
  2. Saqer, Ahmad, et al. “Knowledge and Awareness about Cervical Cancer Vaccine (HPV) Among Parents in Sharjah.” Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention: APJCP, vol. 18, no. 5, 01 2017, pp. 1237–41, doi:10.22034/APJCP.2017.18.5.1237.
  3. Fakhreldin, Marwa, and Karim Elmasry. “Improving the Performance of Reflex Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Testing in Triaging Women with Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance (ASCUS): A Restrospective Study in a Tertiary Hospital in United Arab Emirates (UAE).” Vaccine, vol. 34, no. 6, Feb. 2016, pp. 823–30, doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.12.011.
  4. Awofeso, Niyi. “Preventing Human Papilloma Virus Transmission in the UAE: Evidence-Based Interventions at Primordial, Primary and Secondary Prevention Levels.” International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health, 2016, pp. 2967–72, doi:10.18203/2394-6040.ijcmph20163901.
  5. Elbarazi, Iffat, et al. “A Content Analysis of Arabic and English Newspapers before, during, and after the Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Campaign in the United Arab Emirates.” Frontiers in Public Health, vol. 4, 2016, doi:10.3389/fpubh.2016.00176.
  6. Al Zaabi, M., et al. “Age Specific Cytological Abnormalities in Women Screened for Cervical Cancer in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.” Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention : APJCP, vol. 16, no. 15, 2015, pp. 6375–79, http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/26434845.
  7. Artan, Ifrah Mohamed, et al. The Knowledge, Attitude and Behavioral-Intent Regarding Cervical Cancer and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine: A Cross-Sectional Study among Female University Students in Ajman, UAE. 2015, p. 14.
  8. Al Sabbah, Haleama. “Knowledge and Beliefs Related to Cervical Cancer, Pap Smear Screening and HPV Vaccination among Women in Umm Al Qawain, UAE.” Innovation Arabia 8 Annual Conference 2015, 2015, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/280111697_Knowledge_and_Beliefs_Related_to_Cervical_Cancer_Pap_Smear_Screening_and_HPV_Vaccination_among_Women_in_Umm_Al_Qawain_UAE.
  9. Ortashi, Osman, et al. “Acceptability of Human Papilloma Virus Vaccination among Women in the United Arab Emirates.” Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention: APJCP, vol. 15, no. 5, 2014, pp. 2007–11.
  10. Banna, Nehmat, et al. “High-Risk Human Papillomavirus Infection among Women with Pap Smear Tests Negative for Intraepithelial Lesions or Malignancy.” International Journal of Medicine and Public Health, vol. 4, no. 1, 2014, pp. 102–06, doi:10.4103/2230-8598.127168.
  11. Aswad, Saad Ghazal, et al. “Screening for Cervical Cancer : The Experience of the United Arab Emirates.” Hamdan Medical Journal, vol. 212, no. 1203, Mar. 2013, pp. 1–5, doi:10.7707/hmj.v6i1.128.
  12. Ortashi, Osman, et al. “Awareness and Knowledge about Human Papillomavirus Infection and Vaccination among Women in UAE.” Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, vol. 14, no. 10, 2013, pp. 6077–80, doi:10.7314/APJCP.2013.14.10.6077.
  13. Al Eyd, Ghaith J., and Rizwana B. Shaik. “Rate of Opportunistic Pap Smear Screening and Patterns of Epithelial Cell Abnormalities in Pap Smears in Ajman, United Arab Emirates.” Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, vol. 12, no. 4, Nov. 2012, pp. 473–78, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3523997/.
  14. Mahmoudi, Seyed Morteza, et al. UAE Parental Perspectives on Vaccinating Their Adolescent Girls against Human Papillomavirus. 2012, p. 10.
  15. Ortashi, Osman, et al. “Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of School Nurses in the United Arab Emirates about HPV Infection and Vaccine.” Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention: APJCP, vol. 13, no. 12, 2012, pp. 6481–84.
View all publications
  1. Bruni L, Barrionuevo-Rosas L, Albero G, Serrano B, Mena M, Gómez D, Muñoz J, Bosch FX, de Sanjosé S. ICO/IARC Information Centre on HPV and Cancer (HPV Information Centre). Human Papillomavirus and Related Diseases in United Arab Emirates. Summary Report 27 July 2017. [19 October, 2018]

  2. Cancer Today. (2018, September). Retrieved October 19, 2018, from https://gco.iarc.fr/.

  3. Cancer Tomorrow. (2018, September). Retrieved October 19, 2018, from https://gco.iarc.fr/.

  4. Albawardi, A., Quddus, M. R., Awar, S. A., & Almarzooqi, S. (2018). Frequency of rare and multi viral high-risk HPV types infection in cervical high grade squamous intraepithelial lesions in a non-native dominant middle eastern country: A polymerase chain reaction-based pilot study. Diagnostic Pathology, 13(42). doi:10.1186/s13000-018-0716-x

  5. Nehmat El Banna, Ghaith Al Eyd, and Reem Salim Saeed. High-risk human papillomavirus infection among women with pap smear tests negative for intraepithelial lesions or malignancy. International Journal of Medicine and Public Health. 2014;4(1):102-106.

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