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Retire in Dubai - the new retirement visa

For the first time, Dubai has introduced a retirement visa. What does this mean for the local economy, including the housing and investment market? In addition, people who are now considering staying in the city for the long term report from Target.

Dubai has long been a destination for “expats” from all over the world, but in recent years there has been a growing trend: people are choosing to stay longer. In response, the Cabinet of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) passed a law introducing a renewable five-year retirement visa in 2018. It came into force a good year later.

Michael Kortbawi is a partner at BSA Lawyers and explains: “It's no longer just a place you come and work and then take your money and leave. You can invest your money here, you can retire here, and you can plan for the long term. So the philosophy behind the reasons why you come to Dubai is changing. "

According to UN estimates, the UAE took in more migrants in the past year than France or Canada. Those who want to get the visa must meet one of the four criteria. You must have a monthly income of around EUR 4,600, proof of savings of more than EUR 230,000, or own property worth EUR 460,000. But a combination of savings and property worth at least 460,000 euros is also possible.

Live, stay and invest in Dubai

"Although the visa program is initially aimed at current residents of Dubai, it will be expanded to include people from around the world who are retiring here and looking to enjoy year-round sunshine and the many activities this city has to offer."

Christopher May, CEO of Dubai Golf: “I think golf is something that attracts all ages. For people who have more time, it's a great activity because it keeps you fit, you're outside, outside on the green grass of the fairways, it's a really healthy lifestyle. And all clubs offer the opportunity to meet people from all over the world in a relaxed environment. "

The aim of the retirement visa is not only to highlight the city's unique lifestyle, but also to promote the country's economic development as a business and investment center. Harsha Varyani is in her mid-50s and has lived in Dubai for the past eight years, and has even started her own business here, a yoga ashram.

Harsha Varyani: “Having the retirement visa just takes a load off my shoulders in the sense that I don't have to think about moving at short notice. After a year or two I can actually stay longer and dedicate 100 percent of my time to my company and I can do what I'm passionate about in Dubai. "

Health and Wellness - Dubai is adapting to the needs of retirees

As we get older, first-class healthcare facilities are also becoming increasingly important.

Andre Daoud is the manager of Med Care Hospitals & Medical Centers: “With demographic change, there are more elderly people today, and the visa is also offered to retirees. It is important that we ensure that our services are aligned with these needs. We see it from this perspective. How can we improve our services and offer a wider range of services that cater to this age group? "

The United Arab Emirates does not levy any personal income tax, which makes the country attractive to retirees. When it comes to retirement, the situation for people will differ from country to country.

Attractive tax benefits - pensions

Swedish pensions are subject to SINK tax for people living abroad at either zero or 25 percent of your income above the personal allowance. There is a double taxation agreement between the UK and the UAE to ensure that no taxes are incurred. The country also has a double taxation agreement with Spain. Taxes are only paid once if they are due in Spain.

If you decide to stay in Dubai, it becomes extremely important where you live, whether as a tenant or a buyer.

Lewis Allsopp, CEO Allsopp & Allsopp: “We don't want Dubai to be a city that people come to for a year, make some money and then go home. If you are a seller our landlord will definitely bring in more customers. The real estate market has to come here, live here, be active. This is definitely good news for me. "

The five year retirement visa is designed to encourage more people to stay and call this city home.