Dubai’s move to provide a five-year retirement visa for expats older than 55 will boost the emirate’s property market and the overall economy, according to analysts.

“The introduction of a retirement visa is positive from an economic perspective,” The highly developed infrastructure, including health, and low tax environment will make this scheme very attractive. A number of sectors should benefit, including real estate and those associated with domestic consumption.

On Wednesday, Dubai revealed the retiree visa that allows residents and citizens from around the world to live in the emirate if they fulfill one of these three requirements: earn a monthly income of Dh20,000; have Dh1 million in cash savings; or own a property in Dubai worth at least Dh2m.

A retired expatriate and their spouse can apply for the five-year visa with the possibility of automatic renewal online, provided the retiree continues to meet the criteria.

Expats make up a bulk of the UAE’s 5.2 million private sector labour force and the duration of their stay in the country is largely linked to their employment status. However, the UAE has taken many steps to provide flexibility and has previously announced five-year and 10-year visas for entrepreneurs and skilled expats. It has also provided short-term visas for job seekers.


The retiree visa could also lead to more older expats buying homes in the emirate since one of three stipulations of the visa requirements is property ownership.


Property experts say that this will open new real estate asset classes such as retirement communities with integrated healthcare that are prevalent in other mature economies.


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