Charlotte Carter, from Swansea, was described as the “most caring, kind and thoughtful person” who dedicated her life to helping others as a mental health nurse.
Excited to be going on a “girls’ trip”, the nurse, who worked for the NHS in London, is said to have begun to feel ill on board the flight.
After landing she was taken to hospital where she later died in intensive care.
Ann Sheridan, a borough director at the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, told the BBC Ms Carter was a “dear colleague”.
As the nurse did not have travel insurance her medical bills and costs of repatriating her body were estimated “in the region of £40,000, increasing with each day that passes,” Ms Sheridan said.
A crowdfunding page has been set up to raise money for Ms Carter’s repatriation costs, medical and funeral expenses.
“Our gorgeous friend Charlotte tragically lost her life at the age of 30,” the page says.
“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.”
On Tuesday morning the page had seen more than £20,000 in donations, although it says up to £30,000 will be needed just to “bring her back”.
“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,” the page says.
The Foreign Office has said it is “supporting the family of a British woman following her death in the UAE and are in contact with the Emirati authorities”.