UAE: What is the retirement age for employees; can they continue working after 60?

KT reader wants to know whether an employee can continue working in some capacity in the country after retiring from a company


Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 7 Jul 2024, 8:13 AM

Last updated: Sun 7 Jul 2024, 8:46 PM

Question: I have worked at a Dubai-based organisation for 12 years. I turn 58 this year. What is the retirement age in the UAE, and can I continue working in some capacity after this age?

Answer: In UAE, the Federal law* on the Regulation of Employment Relations and the subsequent ministerial resolutions are silent on the retirement age of employees in the country.

However, the current employment law allows the application of the provisions of previous employment law, i.e. Federal Law No 8 of 1980 Regulating Employment Relations and other ministerial resolutions in such instances. This is by Article 73 (3) of the current 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."

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Based on the provision of current employment law, Ministerial Resolution No 52 of 1989 on the Rules and Procedures to be adopted at the Labour Permits Section concerning the Recruitment of Non-national Employees for Employment in UAE mentions 60 years as the retirement age of expatriate employees who are employed in the private sector. This is by 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 has extensive and rare experience in the field of his specialisation 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.”

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has been accepting requests for work permits from individuals over 60 up to 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 up to 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 are important to the UAE economy and towards the entity for which such employee has been employed.

Based on the aforementioned provisions of law, once you retire as an employee of your current employer, you may continue to work in the UAE if you are granted a work permit by an entity in the UAE based on your work experience and skills. However, it is at the discretion of the MoHRE to grant you a work permit based on the application filed by your prospective employer.

*Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021

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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