The Dubai Government has announced the launch of “Retire in Dubai”, a global retirement programme that offers resident expatriates and foreigners aged 55 and above the opportunity to enjoy the emirate’s distinctive lifestyle. The scheme announced by the Dubai Media Office came under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on September 2.
This is the first such scheme in the region, and is spearheaded by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) in collaboration with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA-Dubai). The new initiative showcases Dubai as the world’s preferred retirement destination.
To ensure a competitive offering, Dubai Tourism has worked with its partners to develop key propositions for retirees covering healthcare, real estate, insurance and banking. Details of the offerings, designed to help retirees enjoy a happy and fulfilling life, and all information necessary to start the application process, are available on www.retireindubai.com.
Eligible applicants will be provided a Retirement Visa, renewable every five years. The retiree can choose between one of three financial requirements for eligibility: earning a monthly income of AED20,000 (approx. USD5,500); having savings of AED1 million (approx. USD275,000); or owning a property in Dubai worth AED2 million (approx.USD550,000).
In its initial phase, the programme will focus on UAE residents working in Dubai who have reached retirement age. The programme offers long-term residents of the city who are familiar with Dubai’s value proposition an easy and hassle-free retirement option. Dubai’s close proximity with the native countries of a large majority of residents makes it a convenient retirement destination for them.
Announcing the initiative, His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, said the programme aims to enhance Dubai’s position as an iconic global city and make it the world’s most preferred lifestyle destination. Dubai’s Retirement Readiness strategy will enable expatriates and international retirees to take advantage of the city’s open-door policy, tolerance, and outstanding quality of life and live in one of the world’s fastest growing, culturally diverse cities, he pointed out.
“With the continued support of our stakeholders and partners including GDRFA-Dubai, the retirement programme will contribute towards our tourism economy by facilitating frequent visits from families and friends of the retirees and increasing visitation from markets with a high retiree population. This will also have the wider effect of promoting Dubai as a retiree-friendly destination while highlighting the city’s unparalleled lifestyle and diverse destination offerings and experiences,” he noted.
His Excellency Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, GDRFA Director-General, said that the retirement programme seeks to enhance the emirate’s position as a prominent destination on the global investment map. Dubai was recently ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and 11th globally among the top 20 most popular destinations for venture capital investments for 2020, which validates the strengths of Dubai’s investment environment and its success in creating new opportunities despite the challenges caused by the pandemic.
He said that the initiative will reinforce the emirate’s status as a preferred tourism and lifestyle hub as well as provide a unique lifestyle for retirees, which will help boost economic development in the country and enhance its global reputation as a business and investment centre.
What makes Dubai the ideal destination for retirees
The Retire in Dubai programme revolves around seven key factors that make Dubai the ideal destination for retirees:
Unique Lifestyle: Home to over 200 nationalities, Dubai is a cosmopolitan destination that unites cultures, beliefs, and values under the banner of tolerance and diversity. Although Arabic is the official language, Dubai is a multilingual city where English is the most widely spoken language. Dubai Tourism, in collaboration with its real estate partners Dubai Holding, Meraas and Emaar, and Emirates NBD, has put together banking options that will enable retirees to own a property that fits their lifestyle. The options will be available only to holders of the Retirement Visa.
Convenience: Dubai provides its residents with a comfortable and hassle-free lifestyle, with conveniences ranging from home services to food delivery. It’s a city of affordable luxury where retirees can choose the quality of life they desire.
Recreation: One of the world’s most popular leisure and shopping destinations, living in Dubai will enable retirees to take care of all their needs, whether it’s rest, relaxation or recreation. As the gastronomic capital of the region, Dubai offers a range of culinary experiences catering to all appetites, cultures and budgets. Residents can choose from thousands of cafés, food trucks and restaurants that reflect the exotic cuisines of its resident nationalities, whether it is dished out by Michelin-starred chefs or street vendors. Dubai also provides a diverse and world-class spa offering in a variety of settings whether it’s the beach, the city or desert resorts. For connoisseurs of art and culture, Dubai provides many ways to discover its history and heritage and be part of a vibrant creative community of artists, as well as the opportunity to attend a plethora of festivals and events throughout the year.
An active and fit society: Retirees in Dubai have access to a healthy outdoor lifestyle, with a wide range of fitness options, whether it is strolling or jogging along sandy beaches, relaxing in beautiful gardens or hiking in mountainous Hatta near the Oman border. An active citywide fitness movement driven by the Dubai Fitness Challenge reflects the city’s collective spirit and strong sense of community.
Proximity & connectivity: Combined with its ideal geographical location midway between the West and the East, Dubai’s highly-connected infrastructure – both technological and physical – makes it easy for retirees to connect with and visit friends and family from all over the world. Dubai International (DXB) is one of the busiest airports in the world and connects more than 240 destinations through 140 airlines. With the addition of its second airport Dubai World Central (DWC), connectivity has become one of Dubai’s most compelling advantages. The two home-grown airlines Emirates and flydubai, and over 100 other regular and low-cost airlines to choose from, makes Dubai one of the top cities in the world when it comes to airline connectivity. Moreover, it is perfectly positioned as a gateway to the globe, helping you travel to anywhere in Europe, Asia, and Africa in under eight hours.
World-class healthcare system: Dubai provides the highest quality of healthcare across a range of specialisations. Following the pandemic, Dubai’s robust healthcare system has been further strengthened in line with the highest international benchmarks and best practices. The city continues to be one of the world’s safest destinations. Furthermore, Dubai Tourism has developed price-competitive insurance packages for retirees in cooperation with leading companies in the sector.
Legacy Management: To ensure that retirees can have their affairs planned for and protected, the DIFC Wills Service Centre has developed enhanced wills drafting, registration and probate services at exclusive competitive rates. The services will help retirees enjoy their lives in Dubai confident that their assets are safe and can be passed on to their loved ones.