New UAE long term residence law stabilises expat life

Published:  17 Sep at 6 PM
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Expatriates living and working long-term in the UAE are welcoming the emirates’ new long-term residence option.

The thought that UAE law forces long-term expat professionals to leave their adopted country once they’ve reached retirement age has long been a painful thorn in the sides of those who’d given the best years of their life to helping the UAE develop to its present-day form. At best, it seemed ungrateful, and at worst it causes distress to expats who literally have nowhere else to go after leaving their friends and long-term social contacts.

Dubai ruler and UAE PM Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum announced the change in the law on Sunday, adding it’s an ‘excellent decision’ as it will help expats in the emirates plan their lives with security, certainty and clarity. One long-term expat professional said the move will positively affect the market as well as encouraging more top talent to arrive in the emirates. The decision is excellent news for older expatriates who’ve lost touch with their home countries and integrated into UAE life as much as is possible.

Expat business leaders are also well pleased, viewing the new law as a positive step in the right direction, especially as it’s to be allowed that retired expats can continue with consulting work after their formal retirement. The real estate sector is also in favour, as it’s expecting more expat property investment as a result. Qualifications for the new, five year, possibly extendable, visas include ownership of a property worth Dh2 million or more, proof savings of Dh one million or an active income paying out no less than Dh 20,000 monthly. Applications can be received from retired expatriates from the age of 55 upwards, with the new law also aiming to prop up the declining real estate market in Dubai.
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