High UK property prices may encourage expat takeup of Dubai retirement visa

Published:  25 Sep at 6 PM
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Soaring UK property prices may persuade expats to stay in Dubai after retirement.

The problems of replicating a Dubai lifestyle as regards suitable properties in the UK may well encourage British expat professionals close to retirement to stay in the UAE. Expats coming up for retirement are now becoming aware the high costs of luxury housing in the UK may cause financial difficulties as regards relocating to the home country. Downsizing after years in the hothouse atmosphere of Dubai and the other emirates may not be an acceptable alternative to those used to the luxury of affordable servants and other perks of Gulf State residency.

Top-of-the-range real estate agents based in London believe the new UAE retirement visas may well be the answer to the lifestyle dilemma facing long-stay British expat professionals coming up to the end of their working lives, especially for those who’ve not kept a home in the UK whilst they climbed the career ladder overseas. One Irish expat for whom the new visa is a solution has been living in Dubai for nine years and has her own health and beauty business. She feels strongly Dubai is now her home, and doesn’t want to leave after retirement kicks in. In addition, the retirement visa may well attract wealthy expats from other hotspots in the Gulf States region, many of whom would find it hard to readjust to conditions in their countries of birth after many years overseas.

UK expatriates have a major problem due to the potential changes forced by Brexit, whether the divorce occurs in a vaguely managed manner or as a disastrous no-deal exit. Applications for the new UAE visa will be accepted beginning next year from those 55 years old or older, with the average expat retirement age in the UAE between 60 and 65 years. Earlier this month, blockaded Qatar announced a similar permanent residency plan for a limited number of expats which would include commercial rights as well as access to the emirate’s generous welfare system.
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