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  • Writer's pictureJenny Hunt

5 Year Visas For Expat Retirement In The UAE

3rd October 2018

Among a number of new visa initiatives recently announced in the UAE, the latest is a five year visa which will enable expatriates to retire in the UAE. This is a welcome announcement, long desired by expatriates living and working in the UAE.

Until now, expats have been living in the UAE with the knowledge that it is only temporary. This is because visas are required to be sponsored by an employer (unless they are dependent or spouse visas). The introduction of five year visas should bring a number of positive benefits to the UAE as a country, businesses operating here and expatriates who choose to live here.

Criteria for the five year visa

Expats over 55 years will be able to apply for the new five year visa providing they meet the following criteria:

  • They can demonstrate investment in a property worth at least AED2 million

  • Have savings of at least AED1 million

  • Have a monthly income of AED20,000 per month

Finer details are yet to be confirmed, such as when the new five year visas will be introduced, what the fees will be and how to apply. There are also a number of questions which are still to be clarified, such as can anyone meeting the criteria apply for the visa or will they have to demonstrate having lived/worked here for a certain number of years? What will be the costs and requirements associated to health insurance? Will the visas be renewable? Will holders of the visa be able to work in the UAE (e.g. property visa holders are required to demonstrate an income, but the visa doesn't enable them to work in the UAE)?

What benefits will the new five year visas provide?

It is anticipated the UAE economy will be boosted in a number of ways:

  • Expats are expected to investment more locally and purchase more properties in the UAE

  • Expats will spend more locally as they will be staying here longer

  • Expats will spend more in the knowledge that they can put their roots down here rather than having that back of mind thought that at some point it will be necessary to leave and this is just a 'temporary' location.

The other key benefit will be multi generations of family will be able to live in the UAE. Having grandparents will benefit expat children and also provide support to the family unit which is currently missing. Thus, stronger family ties would be anticipated, as well as stability.

We look forward to learning more about these new five year visas in due course.

How Gateway Can Help You With Visas

Gateway Group can help with organising your Abu Dhabi and Dubai visas. Our experienced and knowledgeable team can confirm the document requirements and fees and subsequently manage the process to be streamlined and efficient. To engage Gateway Group to process your visas, email us:

Written by Jenny Hunt, Founding Partner & CEO

Gateway Group of Companies, Abu Dhabi & Dubai UAE


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