Retiring in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become an increasingly popular destination for expats, including retirees. With its booming economy, tax-free income, and luxurious lifestyle, the UAE offers an attractive option for those looking to spend their golden years in a vibrant and cosmopolitan city. However, retiring in the UAE requires careful planning and consideration. In this blog post, we’ll explore what you need to know about retiring in the UAE and how to plan for it.


The first thing to consider when planning to retire in the UAE is your visa status. Unless you are a citizen of the UAE, you will need a visa to stay in the country for the long-term. There are a few different types of visas available, including residence visas, investor visas, and retirement visas.

A residence visa is the most common type of visa and is usually obtained through sponsorship from an employer or family member. If you are retired and not working in the UAE, you may be able to obtain a retirement visa, which is designed specifically for retirees. However, retirement visas are only available to citizens of certain countries and require proof of retirement income or savings.

Investor visas are another option for those looking to retire in the UAE. To qualify for an investor visa, you must invest a certain amount of money in a UAE-based company or property. Investor visas are typically valid for three years and can be renewed as long as you continue to meet the investment requirements.

UAE Golden Visas are also a great option for many people wanting to retire here. The rules to qualify for a Golden Visa can be found here and there are a number of different ways to be granted this.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in the UAE can be high, particularly in cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. However, the UAE is a tax-free country, which can offset some of the higher costs. Housing, transportation, and healthcare can all be expensive, so it’s important to factor these costs into your retirement budget.

One way to reduce your living expenses in the UAE is to consider living outside of the major cities. Suburban areas and smaller towns can be more affordable while still providing access to all the amenities you need.


Healthcare in the UAE is generally of a high standard, but it can be expensive for those without insurance. Most expats, including retirees, will need to purchase private health insurance to cover their medical costs. It’s important to research your options carefully and choose a policy that provides the coverage you need at a price you can afford.

If you have pre-existing medical conditions, it’s important to disclose them when applying for insurance, as they may affect your coverage and premiums. You should also research the healthcare facilities in the area where you plan to retire and ensure that they meet your needs.

An experienced insurance broker such as Beneple are worth speaking to with regards to your options.

Tax Considerations

One of the biggest advantages of retiring in the UAE is the tax-free income. However, it’s important to understand the tax implications of retiring in the UAE and how it may affect your tax obligations in your home country.

If you are a citizen of a country that has a tax treaty with the UAE, you may be able to avoid double taxation by claiming foreign tax credits or taking advantage of other tax breaks. It’s important to consult with a tax professional in both your home country and the UAE to ensure that you are complying with all applicable tax laws.

Estate Planning

Estate planning is another important consideration for retirees in the UAE. Without proper planning, your assets may be subject to Sharia law, which may not be in line with your wishes. It’s important to work with a qualified estate planning attorney to create a will or trust that outlines your wishes for your assets and ensures that they are distributed according to your wishes.

It’s also worth considering setting up a power of attorney to manage your affairs in the event that you become incapacitated. This can ensure that your affairs are handled according to your wishes, even if you are unable to make decisions for yourself.


Retiring in the UAE can be a wonderful experience, but it requires careful planning and consideration. From visas and healthcare to taxes and estate planning, there are many factors to take into account when planning your retirement in the UAE. By working with qualified professionals and taking the time to research your options, you can ensure that your retirement in the UAE is a fulfilling and enjoyable experience.

Get in touch with one of our qualified financial advisors to learn more about financial planning.