Charlotte Carter, 30, was struck down by a heart attack in the taxi to her five-star hotel after a boozy seven-hour flight from Gatwick.
Desperate pals watched on as the mental health nurse was rushed to hospital, where she died despite medics resuscitating her "multiple times".
Charlotte, of Swansea, did not take out travel insurance ahead of her trip – meaning her family will be forced to pay £30k to get her body back.
The eye-watering sum is thought to consist of medical bills, repatriation fees, and funeral costs – and pals have stepped up to raise the cash.
Friend Megan Boyes, who set up a crowdfunding page, said: "Our gorgeous friend Charlotte tragically lost her life at the age of 30.
"She was so excited to go on holiday to Dubai on a girls trip but sadly she fell ill on the flight which resulted in her being taken to intensive care once arriving in Dubai.
"After being resuscitated multiple times she unfortunately couldn't be saved.
"We want to help raise money, as like many young people do, Charlotte didn't take out travel insurance which means the medical bills and repatriation costs will be very high.
"Charlotte was the most caring, kind and thoughtful person and she dedicated her life to helping others as a mental health nurse. She was taken from us far too young.
"Any contributions however big or small will be very much appreciated by her family and friends.
"We have changed the target to £30,000. Recently we have found out this is how much it will cost to bring her back- obviously this doesn't include the medical fees etc but its another important target for us to aim for and to help Charlotte's family."
Friend Melissa Jenkins, who flew to Dubai with Charlotte, said she was "heartbroken".
She said: "Get our girl home – Charlotte Carter we love you. Dubai will always have a piece of my heart but has also taken away a piece.
"Live your life you never know what’s round the corner ….always my angel xxx."
Kate George added: "We need all the help we can get. A tragedy doesn’t even describe what’s happened to our beautiful, witty charming girl."
A Foreign Office and Commonwealth spokesman said: "We are supporting the family of a British woman following her death in the UAE, and are in contact with the Emirati authorities."
A JustGiving page has already raised more than £17,000.
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