Three reasons why the retirement visas will spur economic growth
A new five-year visa for expats over 55 will have a stimulating effect
The UAE cabinet adopted a plan to introduce the new visa from next year The grey dirham: The criteria required for five-year “retirement” visas include having savings in excess of AED1m ($272,000) or income of AED20,000 ($5,500) a month. If an individual qualifies for either, that’s a lot of money that could be spent in the UAE – where a bulk of it was earned – rather than repatriated to their home country. In the UK, retirees are responsible for 50 percent of consumer spending. Switch from renting to buying property: The third criteria for qualifying for the new visa is ownership of a property worth at least AED2m ($544,000). Samer Abdin, general manager of Dubizzle Property, believes the move will “encourage people to switch from renting to owning property as the barriers to ownership – such as lack of security on visas – start to be eroded by these forward-thinking measures”. Retaining high-salaried expats: Instead of planning for a return home, expats might now adopt a longer-term view of life in the UAE, which will result in more expenditure on schools, healthcare and leisure. “Many expats will welcome staying in the UAE for life thanks to the safety, dynamism, and connectivity to the world,” said Tariq bin Hendi, head of wealth products at Emirates NBD.