The Dubai Government announced, on 2 September, the launch of a global retirement programme – ‘Retire in Dubai’ – to provide foreign retirees with the opportunity to retire in Dubai. Previously expatriates who lived and worked in Dubai were obliged to retire abroad once they ceased working and their work visa expired.
Approved by the UAE Cabinet in September 2018, the law provides both resident expatriates and foreigners aged 55 and over with a Retire in Dubai Visa that is valid for five years and is renewable provided that the applicant maintains their eligibility status.
To qualify under the programme, a foreign retiree meeting the age requirement would then need to meet one of the following four financial options:
- Monthly income in the UAE of AED20,000 or equivalent currency (approx. USD5,500);
- Bank deposit in the UAE of at least AED1 million;
- Own a property in Dubai valued at least AED2 million;
- A combination of Options 2 and 3 above provided that the combined value is at least AED2 million.
Retire in Dubai will be jointly managed by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA-Dubai). Once all the required documentation has been submitted, the application process for the Retirement Visa for Dubai will take up to 15 days.
Retirement visa holders will also be required to obtain valid medical insurance covering the UAE. The Retire in Dubai visa covers the eligible applicant, their spouse, and their children, such that the immediate family can also retire in the emirate. Holders of the visa will also be permitted to work as independent workers, advisors, board members and consultants.