How to Retire in Dubai

5 mins read

Over the last two years, the government-run “Retire in Dubai” scheme has gained more attention as the trend of foreigners enjoying their retirement abroad becomes the new norm. In recent polls by Veolar, Dubai ranks as the world’s 14th best city for retirees. This position was based on living standards, but the UAE ranks number one regarding financial security.

The survey covered many aspects of daily living, including healthcare, financial security, wealth management, mobility, connectivity, safety, and housing. Although often compared to citizenship by investment schemes, where applicants obtain a golden visa or passport, this retirement program stands above others. So, let’s consider what to know when planning to live in Dubai.

Retire in Dubai

retire in the uae

1: About the Dubai Retirement Visa

The Dubai visa allows applicants and spouses to retire and live in Dubai for five years. They will apply online for renewals if they still meet the criteria after those five years. The program, available to anyone over the age of 55, was introduced two years ago to boost the local economy and the housing market and raise Dubai’s profile on the global platform of ideal retirement destinations. Additionally, Dubai wants to change the demographic of being somewhere where people work, then leave and take their money with them. They want people to see Dubai as an ideal place to retire and invest.

2: Financial Criteria for Retirement

Retirement applicants must be over 55 and hold UAW health insurance. Additionally, they must fulfil one of the following four retirement criteria.

  • Option 1 For Income: Sustainable yearly income of at least AED180,000, equating to AED15,000 per month.
  • Option 2 For Savings: AED1 million savings secured in a 3-year fixed deposit account. Your savings must be cash. Alternate forms of investment don’t count towards eligibility.
  • Option 3 For Property: AED1 million in unmortgaged or mortgaged property, for which the payment to date is at least AED1 million. Off-plan properties are not accepted, but leasehold and freehold are. Mortgaged properties are eligible if the amount equals AED1 million.
  • Option 4: Savings & Property: Options 2 & 3 combined and valued for AED1 million in a 3-year fixed deposit account and property, worth AED500,000 each

3: What About Taxes on Pensions?

For the retirement scheme, our clients often ask about the tax implication on their pensions. Dubai doesn’t add tax on individuals but check with your home country that pays your pension as to their tax rules. For example, Dubai has an agreement with the UK that retired individuals will not pay taxes if they already pay in the UK. The same goes for Spain, but the rules differ for those from Sweden.

retired destinations

4: Other Points About the Retirement Scheme

  • Leave and enter Dubai whenever you want if your visa is active. There is no minimum stay requirement for the UAE either.
  • When your retirement application is complete, the application process takes roughly 15 working days.
  • If the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs (GDRFA) or Dubai Land Department (DLD) approves the retirement application, AED3,714.75 must be paid. This cost covers entry permits, visa status adjustments and residency stamping, Emirates ID, medical examination, and management fees.
  • The retiree may sponsor their spouse and children with no limit. The retiree may also sponsor their parents for 1-year renewable visas. Any sponsored family member must have valid UAE health insurance.

5: Pros of Retiring in Dubai

  • Thriving Economy: Many retired people think oil drives the economy of Dubai, but for 60 years, Dubai city is a massive trading port. For 20 years, Dubai has attracted much foreign investment thanks to various incentives for overseas companies. Indeed Dubai’s economy is thriving, especially compared to other global cities.
  • Modern Architecture: Ultramodern architecture puts this city on the real estate map. Just look at the Burj Kalifa to understand the impact of famous landmarks on the city’s horizon. From the Dubai opera to Jumeriah Mosque, innovation appears everywhere.
  • Leisure Activities: Whether it is the beach, shopping, water parks, adventure or themed activities, Dubai delivers. Leisure activities are at the forefront of retirement life in Dubai.
  • Luxury Lifestyle: Think fine dining restaurants, upmarket boutique clothes stalls, flash cars, and luxury, modern housing.
  • International Community: 70% of Dubai’s residents are foreign, and global influences promote tolerance and understanding.
  • Getting Around: Emirates Airlines makes getting to Dubai easy, and the Dubai metro is fast, efficient, and smooth.
  • Family Friendly Atmosphere: Dubai is exceptionally family-friendly. The grandkids have many themed activities, and most tourist attractions also cater to the young.

retirement countries

6: Where do Foreigners Live in Dubai?

Family Friendly Mirdif: Sitting North of Dubai and east of the airport, Mirdif stands out as an affordable retirement area, and social amenities are plentiful. Midriff is close to the airport, so easy to get there, but expect constant aircraft sound.

Downtown Area: The central location pushes home prices per square meter up, but retired buyers enjoy the best social amenities. Additionally, this area offers many shops, bars, and restaurants. As a result, many British expats retire to Downtown Dubai.

Arabian Ranches: With higher retirement budgets, Arabian ranches are worth retiring to. Often called Dubai’s version of Bel-Air, this gated city features many leisure facilities, like golfing and horse-riding. As another firm British retiree favourite, expect top-notch architecture and homes for sale and rent.

Dubai Marina: Naturally, being in Dubai centre, public and social amenities are on your doorstep. The one downside of Dubai Marina is the lack of pet-friendly facilities and establishments, but retirees who want Dubai’s trademark symbol should consider Jumeirah Beach Residence.

Palm Jumeirah: The ultimate in retiring to beachside living. Retired British expats love this fabricated island, which offers many apartments and villas with easy beach access. But, of course, all also have spectacular views to wake up to.

Al Barsha Complex: This newer collection of small neighbourhoods in West Dubai is near the Emirates Mall and ski slopes at the famous Ski Dubai centre. Otherwise, expect the top-range shopping, nightlife and dining out scenes that every Dubai neighbourhood should offer.

7: Homes for Your Retirement in Dubai

Finding that perfect home in Dubai when retiring can be challenging, but with Spot Blue, filter our extensive database to find your dream home. Search online by location, keyword, highest price, and size, and select properties to view, or contact us for more information about specific properties. Additionally, call us today to arrange home viewings in Dubai.

Also About Dubai

Things to Know About Property: As the UAE’s real estate industry’s golden child, there is much interest globally in investing in Dubai property. However, making the best investment in Dubai with maximum capital appreciation takes time and careful consideration. Additionally, many people see Dubai as an ideal country to retire; hence they want suitable investments. This guide looks at tips for buying retirement homes in Dubai.

About Us: Spot Blue International Property has already done all the hard work by sourcing the best locations and resorts and enjoy a solid working relationship with developers. We listen to your wants and work with only the best developers to deliver the best homes to clients. We aim to match home buyers with the ideal location and perfect property and guide them through the process until completion. So contact us today for more information about property or the retire in Dubai scheme.

retire in dubai

About Natalie

Natalie is a dedicated real estate professional currently working at Spot Blue International Property. With over a decade of experience in the industry, she has acquired a wealth of knowledge and expertise regarding global properties.

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