UAE: Do employees have to retire at the age of 60 or 65?

In some cases, you can apply for a retirement visa to stay in the Emirates after retiring


Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 18 Jun 2023, 8:41 AM

Last updated: Sun 18 Jun 2023, 11:29 PM

Question: Does the UAE have an official retirement age? I am approaching 60, will my visa or my job contract pattern change after I cross 60?

Answer: Pursuant to your query, it is assumed that you are employed by a mainland employer in the UAE. Therefore the provisions of Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment, 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 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 are applicable.

In the UAE, 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 provisions of previous Employment Law (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, 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 under 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 be 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 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 (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 on the mainland may be 65 years. However, the age limit of 65 years on retirement may be further increased, considering the individual's nature of work, his or her credentials, and expertise which is important for the entity he is working for, subject to the approval of MoHRE.

Moreover, once an employee attains the age of 65, the MoHRE may issue a work permit to an employee on an annual basis instead of regular two years of work permit based on an application filed by an employer. Therefore, as you are around 60 years of age, you may continue to work on a normal basis with two years of work permit and a UAE residency visa. Once you attain 65 years of age, your employer may have to obtain a work permit and UAE residency visa annually based on your expertise and experience which may be required for your employer and the UAE economy.

Alternatively, if you resign or retire from your employment upon attaining 55 years of age, 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 a 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 under Article 52 of Cabinet Resolution No. 65 of 2022 related to Golden Residency Permits.

For further clarifications on this matter, you may seek advice from MoHRE, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs if you are a resident of Dubai or the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Port Security if you are residing in other emirates of the UAE.


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