Majority of expats in UAE planning retirement back home

Published:  9 Oct at 6 PM
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New research has shown the majority of expat professionals working in the UAE are planning to enjoy their retirement in their home countries rather than staying in the emirates.

Contrary to the perceived wisdom that every single expat approaching retirement age in the UAE can’t wait to get back to the home country, a recent survey has revealed around nine per cent are happy to spend their later years in the Gulf state in which they were working . However, that leaves the bulk of expat professionals having to decide whether to head back to their country of origin or try somewhere completely new.

A breakdown of the survey results suggests the final decision depends on expats’ views of developments in their home countries since they left, with 75 per cent of North American nationals willing to take a chance on Trump’s America, and 62 per cent of Europeans excluding Britons planning to return to Europe after retirement kicks in. Just over half of British expats in the UAE have decided the UK is the place to be, although it’s possible those decisions might be reversed post-Brexit.

Only 16 per cent are planning their retirement dreams in unfamiliar countries, with a further 11 per cent not at all sure where to go after their working years are over. For those who don’t want to leave the UAE, legal retirement is a tricky issue, as strict rules admit only a few to the exalted status of UAE residency. Foreigners who already own property and those who’ve been heads of successful businesses have the best chance of being allowed to stay after they retire.

Meanwhile in Kuwait, an extended list of foreigners who will be exempt from the recent increase in healthcare charges has been issued. The list includes the blind, those with serious mental conditions or communicable diseases, special needs children born to Kuwaiti mothers, children born to Kuwaiti mothers married to foreigners and students on Ministry of Education scholarships. However, relatives of foreigners with serious mental health issues who are at present being treated in the emirate’s mental health centre are being asked to complete their relatives’ treatments back in their home countries.
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