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Dubai offers new renewable five-year visa for select retirees

08 September 2020

Dubai has a new renewable five-year visa on offer for retirees, if they meet certain criteria.

As the Middle East hub plans to cope with the flight of expatriates amidst an economic downturn, it looks to attract retirees by gearing up a program that was initiated two years ago.

As per the plan, expatriates over the age of 55 would be eligible for five-year renewable visa, provided, they meet certain criteria, the Dubai Media Office said.

5 year visa for retirees

In its initial phase the program will focus on residents working in the second-biggest sheikhdom in the UAE. Built on trade and tourism in an oil-dependent economy.

Dubai saw its growth in population slowing down for three straight years even before the global pandemic shook up its economy. This, coupled with job losses in the UAE, the emirate runs the risk of losing most of its expatriates opting to return home.

Foreigners constitute 90 percent of Dubai’s population, but their residency is tied to employment, hence majority of them may not set their roots in the city.

Aiming to draw the older population, this plan was to be implemented in September 2018. However, there were not much details of the program revealed back then.

As per the announcement made this week, eligible candidates should meet the following requirements:

  • Their monthly income should be at least Dh.20,000
  • Should have a saving of one million dirhams
  • Own atleast a 2 million dirhams worth property in Dubai

The UAE is among the most reliable among the Gulf economies, when it comes to employment of expatriates. In fact, it has leveraged its oil wealth successfully in drawing millions of foreigners in recent years.

With local population of about one million, last year the UAE hosted more migrants than France or Canada, revealed estimated by United Nations.

According to Director-General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, the authorities believe appealing to pensioners is a way to improve the emirate’s position as a prominent destination on the global investment map.

“The program will contribute toward our tourism economy by facilitating frequent visits from families and friends of the retirees and increasing visitation from markets with a high retiree population," he further said.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries.

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