Age is no bar to living in UAE after retirement

Many retirees will be tempted to start their own enterprise or contribute in some form, which will bode well for both the country and the residents



File photo
File photo

If you are an expat, and at a social gathering, and the topic of conversation veers towards, “So, how long do you plan to be in the UAE?”, the answer usually is: “For as long as I am employable…after all, once I stop working here, how will I manage a residency?” Right, let us add that, at a stretch, it is possible: if you have family or friends who would organise a visa for you and so on.

But what if you want to live a retired life in the UAE — on your own terms?  Well, think no more, because His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler, took to Twitter to announce, “Today, we approved the requirements needed to grant retired foreigners residency visas. This will allow retirees to continue their stay in the UAE. We welcome everyone in our country.”

The details are yet to emerge, but the most significant takeaway, clearly, is that the UAE is giving a nod to those over retirement age. In yet another game-changing and “inclusive” decision, and with the words “we welcome everyone in our country”, the UAE recognises the value retirees can bring to the table by opening up an international marketplace — to work and live in — for those who had earlier assumed they were “over the hill”. Of course, there are many aspects here.

The age of retirement is no longer fixed these days. You can be a retiree at 40, you can be working at 75. In the Covid aftermath, a lot of people have opted for the gig economy, and have effectively “retired from the workplace”. Having said that, what is irrefutable is that it’s going to be a definite leg-up — and a huge sense of relief — for those who felt that their life in the country is time-bound.

So, there is going to be a likely fallout with this visionary move. Even as the world remains more invested in millennials and post-millennials, and the average age at the workplace gets younger and younger, there have been conversations about how “neglected” the older chunk of the population feels.

But in the UAE, there’s going to be flattening out of the ageist curve: you no longer need to be of ‘working’ age to live in a world-class market. What’s more, given the kind of entrepreneurial incentives the UAE is giving to self-starters, many of these retirees would be tempted to start their own enterprise or contribute in some form — which will bode well for both the country and the residents.


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