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Despite the tumultuous couple of years for expats in Saudi Arabia, those over the age of 55 will be pleased with a decision made by the United Arab Emirates government as a whole. Lawmakers of the region have passed a new law to extend residency visas for expat retirees.
The law will come in to play in 2019 and will cover all of the Emirates, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It comes as the UAE Cabinet voted to extend residency visas for those aged 55 and over to five years, including a renewal process to increase this time.
Expat retirees will just need to prove they own a property worth £410,000 or more, have savings of £20,000 or have an income of £4,100 per month.
If expat retirees can prove they meet at least one of the requirements their visa will be automatically renewed.
The Emirates government have introduced the new law as a way of encouraging wealthy expats to stay in the UAE upon their retirement. The goal with this change is to boost the property market, with more expats wanting to secure their futures throughout the Emirates when they retire. The property market has struggled since the financial crisis and the government believe this is a great way to rejuvenate it.
The current retirement age in the Emiratis is 49 nationals and 65 for expats.
Experts are of the opinion that this new law will benefit the property market throughout the UAE. They believe more expats will invest in family homes as their longevity to remain in the country is much more secure. Many expats who come to the UAE have a business mindset and are there to make money in the short-term before moving back to their home country. Experts believe that this change will encourage more people to stay.
However, there are areas of concern. Despite being renewable, the visa is only for five years. It is unlikely that expats who aren’t high earners will be interested in an Emirati life, instead opting for the likes of Spain and France.
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