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 Eva Fernandes
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?