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Retiring In Dubai: Expats’ Ultimate Guide to Retire in UAE

07 Aug, 2023
Retiring In Dubai: Expats’ Ultimate Guide to Retire in UAE

A lot of people are starting to think about relocation abroad, and one of their favorite destinations for doing so is Dubai. Dubai’s popularity is still on the rise, and this is happening due to more factors which include the ease of living and financial freedom that people can enjoy here. Lots of individuals decided to buy a home abroad, and after living in Dubai for a while, they are seriously considering retiring there as well. If you’re among them, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered, and you came to the right place in order to learn all there is to know about relocating there for your retirement years.

Dubai has one of the most secure environments and excellent infrastructure, and amazingly high quality of life. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise the fact that more and more expat retirees are excited to make this move and allow Dubai to become their forever home. Following the introduction of the new retirement Visa scheme, expat residents have a few options for living in Dubai after their retirement.

Check out our ultimate guide to retiring in Dubai to learn all the available details about moving here for a quiet and stress-free life. This is a close look at the various ways that expats can consider retiring in Dubai. You will also find here all the necessary conditions for eligibility.

The Ultimate Guide For Retiring In Dubai

Here are some various ways in which you can enjoy life in the UAE for your retirement years.

Applying to retire in Dubai – the Program

All expats who are considering enjoying a high standard of living in Dubai can enjoy the perks that come with the recently launched Retire in Dubai program that everyone is talking about. This was recently introduced in collaboration with Dubai Tourism and the General Director of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA). It’s important to note the fact that this retirement visa scheme grants eligible expats a five-year residency visa.

Another issue that we have to address is the fact that this retirement visa in Dubai is open to expat residents above the age of 55 years. It’s also open to their spouses and dependent people, but only if they are meeting one of the following conditions:

  • They have to prove that they have a monthly income of AED 20,000 – it should come from pensions or previous employer
  • They have to own savings of AED 1M in a fixed deposit of 3 years in the UAE
  • They have to own a property investment that is about AED 2M, which is located in Dubai
  • Last but not least, they have to prove that they have a combination of savings and property investment that’s AED 2M

It’s important to understand that interested people can apply for such a Dubai retirement Visa via Dubai Tourism’s official website.

One important issue that we should mention as well is that if your application meets the criteria, it will be processed by either the GDRFA or Dubai Land Department (DLD).

It’s also vital to note the fact that this five-year retirement visa in Dubai is renewable, but also in the case in which you continue to meet the financial requirements. You also have to understand that retirees must have medical insurance, which comes from a local or international firm.

Also Read: Best Places to Live Dubai

The UAE Golden Visa

Expats who are in love with living in Dubai can apply for one of the UAE’s long-term golden Visas. There are a few categories that expat retirees could become eligible for if they meet certain factors that have to be met. 

An important issue that is worth bringing into the discussion is the fact that This amazing Green Visa is a part of a program that’s been created to help the country boost the efforts of expansion and development.

This is also allowing entrepreneurs from abroad to live and work in the UAE, and it also offers people an opportunity to set up and develop their own businesses there.

It’s also worth noting the fact that the UAE is currently focusing on developing a more sustainable rise and growth. This should be essentially made via the country’s tourism industry and construction as well. Dubai is also trying its best to boost the investments coming to the tech sector.

Such issues led to various types of Visas, which have been launched to promote the upcoming growth and development. According to new reports, The Golden Visa, Freelancer Visa, Talent Pass, and Green Visa are all Visas that have been established recently. The main target of all this is to bring in new investors and residents to help the nation grow.

Dubai also widened the scope of the Golden Visa in 2020. The reason for this move is to make it even more appealing than the original Visa that was released in 2019, and this should bring more foreigners with massive and important incomes. 

Applying for a Golden Visa is a subject that needs a lot of research, and this is the main reason why investors are happy to meet the required criteria. It’s important to highlight the fact that the Visa is renewable as long as the applicant continues to meet the criteria for the Visa. 

Investing / Establishing a Business

Expat retirees have more options regarding getting long-term Visas. They also have the possibility of getting a three-year partner Visa in Dubai. This is an issue that involves expats who have shares that are worth at least AED 72,000 in an existing firm. More than that, they could also be establishing one with a capital amount that is worth the same. Such a kind of Visa offers expat retirees the flexibility to continue working post-retirement as well, and this is something great because nowadays, a lot of people who have already retired want to get a chance to work post-retirement as well, in order to keep themselves occupied with something that they probably love doing.

After the trade or business license has already been issued, the application for the Dubai investor Visa can be made in the Emirate. It’s also really important to remember the fact that the minimum investment amount that is mentioned above applies to companies from mainland of Dubai.

Expats can also set up a company here, to be more specific, in the free zones of Dubai. This offers various options for investors. It’s also essential to mention the fact that the minimum share capital, process, and cost can vary accordingly to the free zones that you are interested in. In other previous articles, we have already addressed the topic of the Dubai free zones. 

Also Read: Best Countries to Invest in Real Estate

Investing in a Property in Dubai

As we already said, investing in properties in Dubai can become the best decision of your life, especially if you also plan to retire there as well. So, we have to say that another option that you have as an expat to retire in Dubai is via the three-year property investor Visa. This is issued for residents who have property investments that are worth AED 1 million and more. Such a type of Visa can be used by expat retirees in order for them to enjoy the benefits of opening a bank account, obtaining a driving license, and also acquiring an Emirate ID card. Such Visa holders will also have the fantastic ability to sponsor their family members from here.

There are a few conditions that have to be met in order to be able to get such a Visa in Dubai. These include the fact that the property must be already entirely constructed and also inhabitable as well. This Visa will not be granted based on the current market value of that specific property but on the amount that you paid for it. You can also apply for this type of Visa if you have more than one property and all of them are worth at least AED 1 million. These can also be jointly owned with your spouse as well, and this is another crucial aspect of this issue that is worth noting. 

Also Read: Best Property Investment in Dubai

Last but definitely not least, you can also apply for such a kind of Visa with a mortgaged property. But 50% of it has to be paid, and you will require a NOC from the bank. You will get a chance to learn all about this complex info and data if you choose to work with a trustworthy brokerage such as Starling Properties. 

Starling Properties is an innovative company that facilitates the buying, selling, and renting of properties in Dubai. The platform is performing top-notch brokerage in the real estate industry in the UAE.


Starling Properties supports technological advancement, and therefore, we support the payment made via digital assets for purchasing, selling, and renting properties in Dubai.

Also Read: Can Foreigners Buy Property in Dubai

Getting Sponsorship From Your Children

This is another essential option that it’s definitely worth noting. Expats who are looking to retire in Dubai can also benefit from a residence Visa that is sponsored by their children. But this is only if they live and work in the Emirates as well. Official notes reveal the fact that according to the GDRFA, the individual sponsoring their parents must have a minimum salary of AED 20,000 or AED 19,000 with two-bedroom accommodation.

One other important thing that we have to mention is that the sponsor must also provide proof that they are the sole providers for their parents. One other condition that has to be mentioned is the fact that both parents must be sponsored together, unless in cases of death and divorce.

Advantages Of Living In Dubai

Moving and living in Dubai comes with a bunch of advantages that will be pretty easy to discover for yourself. Check out the most important pros of retiring in Dubai.

Increased Level of Safety

Dubai is one of the safest places to live, according to the latest reports revealed by official data. The crime rates are extremely low here, and this offers people an increased level of comfort.

Great Healthcare

Expats have to get private healthcare, but the healthcare standards in Dubai are some of the best in the world, and this matters the most. If you plan to retire here, you will not have to worry about the healthcare that you will receive. Searching for the perfect place to call home in Dubai? Look no further than our extensive database of apartments for rent.

Culturally Diverse

Dubai is one of the most culturally diverse places on the planet, and here, you will get a chance to mix with other cultures while learning something new every day.

Great Spoken English Everywhere

A massive portion of Dubai residents understand and speak English very well. So, it’s not even too far-fetched to say that English is an unofficial second language here. As long as your English is good, you will not have problems communicating here.

Also Read: Moving to Dubai from UK

Challenges Of A New Life In Dubai

Besides so many advantages, there are also challenges of living in Dubai. Check out the most important ones that are worth mentioning below.

Life Costs

Expats do not have to pay income taxes here, but the costs of living in Dubai can be pretty high. The luxurious lifestyle that you will see around does not come cheap, but this is understandable.

Hot Weather

Even if sunny weather during the whole year sounds fine, June to September can be really hot for some people, reaching some uncomfortable levels. Dubai’s climate is a hot desert climate, and such temperatures can be uncomfortable, especially for elderly people.

Strict Laws

The strict laws of Dubai might come as a shock to you if you are from a Western country. There are some things that may seem normal to you but may get you in trouble if you do them in Dubai. Such issues include public display of affection, swearing, making rude gestures, eating and drinking on public transport, having a dirty car, and dressing immodestly.

Cultural Differences

The UAE is predominantly Muslim, and this means that Dubai abides by Muslim laws, including fasting the Ramadan. Even if you are not fasting, you cannot be seen eating or drinking in public.

Also Read: Living in Dubai as an American

Closing Words

Anyway, these are just some of the most critical aspects involving moving to Dubai for retirement. If you consider taking advice and counseling from a specialized firm such as the brokerage Starling Properties, you will be able to become more and more familiar with Dubai’s laws, regulations, and all there is about getting a Visa. Dubai continues to remain a hub all over the world regarding real estate and the latest technological innovations, and this is why people still choose to come here.

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