Dubai promotes retirement visa programme for over-55s

Scheme open to people living around world but will initially focus on Dubai residents

Powered by automated translation

A visa that allows residents of other countries to retire in Dubai was announced by the emirate's government on Wednesday.

The five-year retirement visa allows Dubai residents and citizens from around the world to live in the emirate provided they meet criteria.

Eligible applicants must be older than 55 and have valid UAE health insurance.

Applicants must also fulfil one of these three requirements: earn a monthly income of Dh20,000; have Dh1 million in cash savings; or own Dh2m worth of property in Dubai.

Retired expatriates and their spouses can apply for the five-year visa with the possibility of automatic renewal online, provided the retiree continues to meet the criteria.

Applications can be submitted on the Retire in Dubai website.

The website says valid UAE health insurance must be bought at least a day before an application is submitted.

If the application is not accepted, health insurance providers will offer a 30-day refund period after purchase.

The programme was developed by Dubai Tourism and the General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs, on the orders of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, UAE Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

It aims to make Dubai a preferred retirement destination.

The initial phase of the programme will focus on residents of the country who have worked in Dubai for more than 10 years.

"The programme offers long-term residents of the city who are familiar with Dubai’s value proposition an easy and hassle-free retirement option," Dubai Media Office said.

"Dubai’s close proximity with the native countries of a large majority of residents makes it a convenient retirement destination for them."

Helal Al Marri, director general of Dubai Tourism, said the programme would boost the emirate's tourism economy through frequent visits from families and friends of retirees, and increasing visits from markets with a high population of retired people.

"Dubai’s Retirement Readiness strategy will enable expatriates and international retirees to take advantage of the city’s open-door policy, tolerance and outstanding quality of life, and live in one of the world’s fastest growing, culturally diverse cities," Mr Al Marri said.

In 2018, the UAE Cabinet approved a five-year retirement visa for residents of the country, starting in 2019.

The criteria were the same but appeared to be limited to residents of the country.

Dubai's retirement visa is open to non-residents.