As expats move to exit Dubai due to the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the city is attempting to attract foreign retirees aged above 55 years under a five-year renewable visa program that was initially launched two years ago. In the first phase, the focus will be on foreign residents who are currently working in Dubai.
Population growth in Dubai had been falling over the past three years, and the pandemic dealt a blow to the economy – job losses within UAE have accelerated at the fastest rate in history, which has prompted expats to relocate to other countries, or back to their home countries. 90% of Dubai’s population is composed of immigrants, whose residence status is dependent on employment – which is why most hesitate to permanently establish themselves or make local investments.
In September 2018, the UAE government had approved a plan to attract older demographics to the city, which is now being more proactively implemented. While the cost of living in Dubai may be higher than countries like Malaysia, Spain and Costa Rica, the quality of life, multiculturalism and cosmopolitan culture are very appealing to immigrants.
In order to be eligible for the Retiree Visa, candidates must have an income of at least 20,000 dhirams (approximately ₹3,99,000) per month OR have savings amounting to 1 million dhirams (approximately ₹2 crores) OR own property worth 2 million dhirams (approximately ₹4 crores) in Dubai. The visa will remain valid for a five-year period, and can be renewed upon expiry.
Among the Gulf countries, the UAE is most highly dependent on immigrants for economic development. The total population of UAE is almost 10 million. The domestic population is only 1 million – the remaining (roughly 9 million) residents are foreigners. The number of immigrants in UAE exceeds those in Canada or France.
The population is expected to grow only marginally in the future, which is why cities like Dubai need a steady influx of immigrants to support local development. Attracting retirees or pensioners is one way to solidify UAE’s position as a global investment destination. To find out how to apply for this program and permanently live in one of the world’s most developed cities, seek the expert guidance of seasoned consultants at Abhinav Immigration Services – digitally or in-person!