UPDATE: Retirement age in UAE raised from 60 to 65 in labour law changes

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NEW RULES: Skilled expat workers will also no longer need a no-objection certificate from former employers to take up a new job (Getty Images)

NEW RULES: Skilled expat workers will also no longer need a no-objection certificate from former employers to take up a new job (Getty Images)

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.”


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Posted by: Ernest Davidson

The article relied on an unknown official and did not provide the relevant Federal Labour Law Number quoting the content and providing the relevant clause.

Therefore there is no reason to believe the retirement age has been increased. Can anyone provide more details?

Posted by: ajaz ahmad mohammed hussain azad

It is a good news for all expartriates who ever nearing retirement age. I am one of them is most benefited. I lived here in Dubai, this is my home. Most of my life time I have spent here in Dubai and I am pleased the authorities are doing a great job not only for national but also expatriates. No other country will offer such benefits for expatriates and we salute Dubai Government. .

Posted by: Liisa L

I am from Finland and I have a contract to work in Oman but I am 65 years old how can I get the visa is it special permission?

Posted by: dr.khudoos

thanks to the dubai government..Age,sure,is never a barrier..experieced doctors & engineers contribute much more to any nation with more sincerity with a mature mind,indeed...even Drs.can work upto 65 or 70 years..they can be sent to medical checks-up annually with simple tests like blood sugar,ecg ect..& they can be given extension of work-permit,if they are fit ..what's the problem..Countries like uae would be certainly benefitted.

Posted by: Jane

Many countries are now increasing the retirement age to 70 for women and 75 for men as countires are beginning to realise the value of the skills and experience older people have and that they can not afford to let it go. While 65 is a much needed improvement the UAE should consider increasing this further as there is a lot of skill in the older age bracket which could easily be retained for at least a further ten years. Many of the skilled 60+ people in the UAE have been here over 20 years, this form of commitment and loyalty by employees should be retained if the employee is still capable of doing their job. That length of service is rare in the modern younger work world and the older people are full of highly skilled knowledge which can not be easily repleaced with young fresh energy...no matter how enthusiastic they are, or how qualified, qualifications and theory will never replace hands on experience.

Posted by: Linda Allen

I have recently attempted applying for employment in Abu Dhabi and was told the age limit was 60. I am hoping this is incorrect.

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