UAE: What’s the official retirement age and how can employees get a work permit after?

Explained: Eligibility and requirements to get five-year retirement visa


Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 23 Oct 2022, 10:36 AM

Last updated: Sun 23 Oct 2022, 2:27 PM

Question: I have been working in a Dubai-based company for the last 27 years. I am now 56 years old. Can you please advise if my company can ask me to retire at a certain age? If I negotiate with the company, can I extend my tenure after the retirement age? Also, how can I opt for the UAE's retirement visa?

Response: Pursuant to your queries, it is assumed that you are employed in a mainland private entity based in Dubai. Therefore, the provisions of Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations (the 'Employment Law'), Cabinet Resolution No. 65 of 2022 Issued Related to Executive Regulations for Federal Decree Law No. 29 of 2021 regarding the Entry and Residence of Foreigners and the Organization of Golden Residency Permits (the 'Cabinet Resolution No. 65 of 2022 related to Golden Residency Permits) and Ministerial Resolution No. 52 for 1989 The Rules and Procedures to be Adopted at the Employment Permit Sections with Respect to the Recruitment of Non-National Employees for the Employment in UAE (the 'Ministerial Resolution No. 52 for 1989') are applicable.

The Employment Law and the subsequent ministerial resolutions are silent on the retirement age of employees in the UAE. However, the current Employment Law allows to apply the provisions of previous one (Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 Regulating Employment Relations) and other ministerial resolutions in such instances. This is in accordance with Article 73 (3) of the Employment Law, which states, “Decisions, regulations and rules in force prior to the entry into force of the provisions of this Decree-Law shall continue to apply to the extent that they do not conflict with the provisions hereof, until they are replaced in accordance with the provisions of this Decree-Law."

Based on the aforementioned provision of Employment Law, the previous Ministerial Resolution No. 52 for 1989 mentions 60 years as the retirement age of expatriate employees who are employed in the private sector. This is in accordance with Article 3 (c) of Ministerial Resolution No. 52 of 1989, which states: “Approval of the applications to supply non-national employees for employment in UAE may not be granted unless the employee recruited shall not be less than 18 and not more than 60 years old. The maximum age limitation, however, may be waived if the employee to the recruited shall have an extensive and rare experience in the field of his specialization provided for the job he has been recruited for employment in UAE shall be of the economic importance such waiver shall be sanctioned by the Minister."

It should be noted that since January 2011, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (the MOHRE) has been accepting requests for work permits of individuals over the age of 60 years up to the age of 65 years; thereby enhancing the retirement age from 60 to 65 years. Based on the same, the retirement age for employees working in private sector entities in the mainland may be 65 years. However, the age limit of 65 years on the retirement may be further increased, considering the individuals' nature of work, his or her credentials, and expertise which is important for the entity he is working for.

However, as the Employment Law is silent related to the retirement it is prudent on your part to contact the MOHRE to clarify.

After your tenure, you may reside in the UAE by applying for a retirement visa. To apply, you must (i) have valid documentary evidence to confirm that you have continuous work experience of not less than 15 years inside or outside the UAE, (ii) have completed 55 years of age, (iii) have one or more properties in the UAE with valuation of not less than Dh1 million or have fixed deposits with banks in the UAE which is not less than Dh1 million or your annual income is not less Dh240,000 or equivalent currency. This is accordance with Article 52 of 'Cabinet Resolution No. 65 of 2022 related to Golden Residency Permits.

Further, as you are still 56 years of age and your employer decides to terminate you on grounds of retirement, such termination may be considered as arbitrary dismissal. You may be eligible for compensation in accordance to Article 47(2) of the Employment Law.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.


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