The UAE has raised its retirement from 60 to 65, giving expatriates leave to work for a further five years, a Ministry of Labour official said on Thursday.
The move, which forms part of a widespread change in labour laws across the country, will allow expats to secure work visas up to the age of 65.
“The retirement age before was 60, now it’s 65. They raised the retirement age,” the official, who declined to be named, told Arabian Business.
He said the Ministry would start accepting requests from January 1 to issue the over-60 permits. He said the same fees would apply as to permits for workers 60-and-under.
“We believe that these people still can stay and deliver more work – they have the experience – and we want them to stay.
“After 65 you’re considered post-retirement, and it’s a different rate,” he said. “You’re also on a one-year visa [term] instead of a two-year.”
He said the move would help free up the country’s labour market.
“We don’t want it to be rigid,” he said.
It is the latest in a series of work visa changes affecting the UAE’s expat population, including an announcement last week that as of January 1, labour card validity will be reduced from three years to two years.
Skilled expat workers will also no longer need a no-objection certificate from former employers to take up a new job.
Under previous labour laws, employers can refuse to issue a certificate of no-objection, resulting in expatriate workers having to leave the country for six months.
The official said the Ministry’s changes were meant to keep expat workers from leaving Dubai and to “empower” the labour market.
“The government believes that it should maintain this asset [experienced workers] in the country and seeks to build a transparent relationship between employer and employee,” he said.
By keeping job competition in town, the ruling could have a direct effect on Emiritisation, he said.
“The labour market will be done by supply and demand rule,” he said. “It will raise the salary levels – and Emiratis will start wanting the jobs.
“More decrees are coming, to maintain a healthy relationship between employers and employees.”