The UAE Retirement Visa programme is now live

The UAE Retirement Visa programme is now live

- Jade Wong

The UAE has announced its new retirement visa initiative to allow and encourage expats to settle and remain in the UAE post retirement age.

The announcement was made on Wednesday 2nd September 2020 and offers resident expatriates and foreigners aged 55 and above an opportunity to retire in the Emirates. As part of the programme, eligible applicants will be provided a retirement visa, renewable every five years.

The scheme was originally announced back in May 2019 and is amongst a number of reforms extending the options available for foreigners to secure and maintain residence visa status in the UAE.

The new scheme, unveiled under the directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, intends to showcase Dubai as the world’s preferred retirement destination. Led by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, in collaboration with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs - Dubai, the global retirement initiative aims to boost economic development in the country and enhance its global reputation as a business investment centre.

How do I obtain a 5-year Retirement Visa in Dubai?

In order to obtain the UAE 5-year retirement visa the, individual retiree will need to meet the criteria below:

  • You must be at least 55 years old
  • You must have valid health insurance in the UAE (the individual will need to obtain their own local UAE health insurance policy)

Additionally, the individual retiree must be able to meet one of the below financial criteria:

  • Deposit at least AED 1 million in a UAE bank for 2 years with a letter from the bank stating that the deposit cannot be released within this time. 
  • Own a property worth at least AED 1 million in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or the wider UAE (provide a copy of your property value deed – the individual retiree must show equity value of at least AED 1 million, unmortgaged).
  • In case the property is mortgaged, at least AED 1 million of property value must be paid to the bank with a letter stating the amount paid from the mortgage. 

The visa can be renewed after 5 years if the criteria above continue to be met.

Note that the individual retiree can still work whilst holding this retirement visa, the individual will self-issue an NOC letter to allow them to continue to work in the UAE if they wish to.

The retirement visa holder can also then sponsor (and obtain a UAE resident dependant visa for) their spouse and children, of school age or student age.

The UAE is also developing a competitive offering in tandem with Dubai Tourism to provide lower cost health insurance for retirees, as this is currently an expensive element of the process, as well as other insurance, property ownership and retiree banking options within the UAE.

The newly introduced retirement initiative targets foreign nationals all over the world that are considering the UAE as a suitable place to retire. There are many reasons to choose the UAE as a retirement destination. Emirates such as Dubai offer a unique lifestyle with modernity and convenience, endless options for sport and recreation, an active and fit population, great location with proximity to Asia, Africa and Europe as well as a world class healthcare system and a robust legal framework. This is particularly true within the financial free zone of DIFC. With the DIFC Wills Service Centre offering discounts of 40% on fees for registration of wills.

To apply direct please visit the Retire In Dubai application page

If you need assistance and are looking to obtain a UAE 5 year retirement visa, then please do get in touch with us on +971 (0)4 456 1761 for Dubai or +971 (0)2 448 5120 for Abu Dhabi, email us at or complete the contact form below and we will be delighted to assist you.

What are the other long-term visa options in the UAE?

  • UAE Property Visa

If you own property worth more than AED 1 million, you could also be eligible to stay in the UAE without the need for an employment visa Although the 2 year property visa does not permit you to work in the UAE, it does allow you to sponsor your spouse and children.

Who is eligible for a Property Visa in the UAE?

You will need to meet the criteria below:

  • Property mortgage must not be outstanding of more than 50%
  • You must have an income of at least AED 10,000 per month (from employment outside of the UAE)

UAE Investor Visa

If you have investments in UAE property or a UAE investment project, you could be eligible for a 5-year or 10-year visa.

Who is eligible for an Investor Visa?

  1. Property investor

    5-Year Visa

    You must invest in a property with a value of no less than AED 5 million and can be calculated over a portfolio of properties owned. The amount invested must not be based on a loan. This visa can be renewed and is available for as long as you own the property.

  2. Entrepreneur investor

    10 Year Visa

    If you have a project investment worth AED 10 million or more, you may be eligible for a renewable residency visa every 10 years. Projects with a minimum capital of AED 500,000, can be granted a five-year visa with the possibility of upgrading to an investor visa.

Standard investor visa

If you are a shareholder in a UAE mainland company, or a UAE free zone company, you also obtain a 3-year investor visa or partner visa as a shareholder, and this visa is renewable as long as the company remains a going concern. This is one route that many entrepreneurs have been using to obtain and maintain UAE residence indefinitely for the life of the company.

Golden Visa

Announced in 2019, professionals with entrepreneurial experience are eligible for a renewable 10-year visa. To apply, applicants should submit the relevant documents of their projects through the golden visa website.

How can PRO Partner Group help?

PRO Partner Group can assist you with advice on whether a long-term visa is right for you and which option to choose. We can assist with all the procedures required to obtain a visa. If you need assistance on this or any other related company set up, restructuring, local partner or PRO support matter in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the wider UAE, Oman or Qatar, then please do get in touch with us on +971 (0)4 456 1761 for Dubai or +971 (0)2 448 5120 for Abu Dhabi, email us at or complete the contact form below and we will be delighted to assist you.

Get in touch with Jade Wong

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