UAE will allow existing foreign residents who are above the age of 55, to obtain extended residency visas after they retire. The new law will come into effect in 2019 and its intention is to increase the economy and nurture the long-term growth of the nation.
UAE is exceedingly popular with expats. For many years, foreigners contributed to economic growth by working, investing (mostly in real estate), and consumption in the shopping malls and world-class facilities that characterize Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Expats, however, only had the permission to reside in the country as long as they were employed (or owned businesses). The move, therefore, essentially grants expat residents a long-term vested interest in the economy.
Retiree residency visas will be renewable at five-year intervals. The applicant must either hold real estate worth at least 2 million dirhams ($544,500), savings of no less than 1 million dirhams, or a monthly income of no less than 20,000 dirhams.
This move represents another attempt by the Gulf state to encourage more people to visit, stay and invest, following other measures that were introduced last June such as easing restrictions on full foreign ownership of businesses.