Dubai is known for glamorous living but the city and its developers are making a big gamble on a new target market: the retirement market.
Recent changes in UAE visa law has made the city attractive for expatriates over the age of 55. The new law, passed in September, allows foreign seniors to have a five-year retirement visa. Once your five years are up, you can renew the visa as long as you are still eligible.
Potential retirees in the UAE must have investment property worth at least Dh 2 million (£425,136), savings of Dh 1 million (£212,652) or a monthly income of at least Dh 20,000 (£4,249). At these minimums, it becomes very easy for anyone who is heading towards retirement to consider Dubai for their retirement years.
According to some industry specialists, Dubai real estate market may in fact pivot towards the sorts of retirement communities seen elsewhere, with dedicated health and personal care staff.
Elsewhere in the world, senior communities tend to be low to mid-rise, and on the outskirts of cities rather than bustling downtowns. In Dubai, that means that many targeted senior communities may look like Al Barari, whose upcoming phases will include assisted living facilities and medical centres.
An international model which Dubai developers may copy is retirement communities in Florida, which has a stable residential retirement market because the warm climate and low taxes, catering to the northern USA and Canada, as well as other winter nations.
With the perfect mix of easy visas, a supply of quality housing and beautiful weather all year round, Dubai is setting itself up to become a destination for foreign retirees.
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