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Would you retire in Dubai?

Would you retire in Dubai?

Given the option, would you consider retiring in Dubai? The Chief Economist of DIFC suggests retirement homes in Dubai are an economically viable option for the government.

February 15, 2012 4:27 by

If Kipp asked you about retirement, dear working expat in the Gulf, what would you say? Would you like to retire back home, wherever home is? Or do you envision yourself growing grey on a tropical island, like Seychelles, the Maldives or maybe Tahiti?

Chances are, whatever you answer, the UAE would not be one your options. The weather, ubiquitous sand, poor urban planning may be some of the reasons for this omission, but at the end of the day we know the real reason you would never even consider retiring in the Emirates is because of your unchanging status as an expatriate. Without a permanent residence visa available for non-working expatriates, the very suggestion of retirement is not even up for debate.

But what if the visa system was overhauled? What if a pension scheme was put into place and company ownership laws were altered?  Would you consider retiring in the Emirates? And what does UAE stand to benefit from such a change?

Quite a lot, if Dr. Nasser Saidi has anything to say about it. Speaking at the Dubai Economic Outlook 2012, Saidi said: “Many people would like to have retirement homes in the UAE. You could fill up many villas and many apartments if you had retirement homes. These people would be pure consumers. [They’d be] spending the rest of their lives here, consuming a lot of UAE’s services including medical and healthcare services. If you revised company ownership law and introduced long term visas, I am quite sure the level of investment in Dubai will jump.”

While Saidi’s words may be just rhetoric, Kipp is intrigued by the suggestion. Undeniably, there is a glut of oversupply in the real estate market, which is increasing as the days go by. Undeniably there is a massive expatriate population from the Indian, Arab, Filipino and even Western community living their lives in the UAE. Put these two undeniable factors together and it would seem the UAE would have a viable solution for income and investment. If expatriates had plans of living out their lives in the UAE, then the money earned in the Emirates would go back into the country as an investment instead of going out as remittance.

What do you think? Do you think retirement homes in the UAE is an economically viable option? Would you ever consider retiring in the Emirates?

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  1. Wayt Ansi on February 15, 2012 6:40 pm

    If all the ifs are removed, it could be the best move Dubai could make. All the Anglo-Saxon fauna and the wealthy people from many difficult countries as well as many rotten political has-been, will bring their cash to Dubai. This would become the most florishing economy in the region. It is well known that older people have higher income, they dont mingle in politics BUT want to feel secure from the legal side.
    Sort the legal side and they will come by full planes. It will also improve the number of visiting tourists as their families would come for Christmas and Eastern festivities. RE will become a hot business again “if” (sorry for this one) greedy and errant developers are put in a cage and their bad habits controlled by a real authority with teeths. But this looks like science fiction to me.

  2. Jihad on February 15, 2012 10:09 pm

    I would …if it is feasible and the retirement financial module and civil rights granted make sense !

  3. Pa on February 16, 2012 6:05 am

    There are two aspects to retire and settle down. One is of course your status in the place which a long term visa can address however what’s also quite important is a place where you can live in peace with ample assurance that the authorities consider your interest as well the rule of law is applied without any discrimination. The unpredictability of decision making without hearing out other stakeholders views (the incidence in adu dhabi where the expatriates were told to shut up while a key labour decision was being discussed) or the questionable legal decisions ( refer to the ikea incidence and the laughable liniency of the decision given the grave nature of he crime in broad daylight or the incidence the intentionally running over an expatriate woman at the airport) still do throw many questions as to how viable it is as a long term alternative….however the good news is for most expatriates who have the resources to invest in the UAE have the option of other jurisdictions as well….

  4. MK on February 16, 2012 11:28 am
  5. Ajith on February 16, 2012 2:36 pm

    What is the security here…. if tomorrow they ask us to leave……can we stop it? whatever they say or think in the morning is the rule….every day it changes. so investing in this part of the world is a mistake as per my view or else you should have that kind of black money to invest as we see around with some people around us.

  6. miau on February 16, 2012 6:52 pm

    After all the horror in the past years investors and buyers had to bear in Dubai upon today, please elderly people stay away from such offers.
    As long as no international western legal standard is in place in Dubai ( and this however will never happen in Dubai) elderly people should look for other nice places in this world. Don`t take your hard earned savings to Dubai – it may be cause you sorrows for the rest of your life.
    DUBAI – stay away from trying to attract over a PR campaingn now elderly people. YOU have caused enough damage to thousands of Holyday Home buyers, who once trust you. The CONFIDENCE is gone !

  7. Jayant on February 17, 2012 12:19 pm

    Dubai would be a good place for retirement if the retirement rules are changed and peole are allowed to stay here with a pension scheme, and visas are provided to provided on a renewal basis of every 3 years. If the government changes the rules regarding the stay and provides benefits to expats as in the case of nationals it would be a sure welcome gift.

  8. Khalil on February 25, 2012 11:19 pm

    Why do you think there is law needed to allow eldery retirement in UAE, I meet many elders already retired in UAE and they didn’t need especial leaglation to stay, infact they are using the investment visas which allow them to stay for 2years. The only issue I see is UAE they don’t allow having eldary homes for non UAE nationals, even if it’s in the form of hotels or hospitals and this is a big issue especially for the people working and living for long time in this country as they will be in some stage in the future ineed for such help or sometimes they need to bring their old father and old mother to live in local homes next to were they live and work.

  9. Andrew on February 27, 2012 1:32 pm

    As long as you don’t have to buy property to do it, sure. Otherwise … not a chance.

  10. James on October 21, 2012 12:08 am

    You simply cannot trust the locals not to change the rules and rob you. Your property could be taken at any time. I lived in the UAE for several years and saw many examples of unfairness in the law and socially. This is a third world country, with a few rich people, some gloss etc. but still a dump underneath the surface. The Sheiks that run the place are no more than robber barrons dressed up with oil to back them. Apart from prostitutes and booze, which appeals to foreign businessmen, it doesnt have much. I also note that it is now on the sex tourist trail, which says it all.


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