Over the past few decades many countries have sought to encourage retirees to spend their money and their grey years in their country, so the economy benefits and jobs are created.
This has been done to boost the economy sometimes after a ‘financial crisis’ or just because it makes good economic sense. Examples of countries benefitting from having successfully achieved this are places like Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and other emerging Asian countries.
In Europe countries like Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Malta were also forced to open their doors to retirees after the global financial crisis to boost their economies.
The cost of these ‘retirement visa’s’ is often determined by the attractiveness and political stability of the particular country. For example, for those over 50 you can get a retirement visa in the Philippines for $10,000, yet in Europe you will need to spend over €500,000 buying a property to get a visa.
These visa’s can also come with strings attached, so in places like Spain or Portugal not only do you have to spend €500,000 on a property but there are other requirements which many may find difficult to follow.
In the Gulf states this is a fairly new idea and it is no surprise that the UAE will be the pioneer for the region. Over the past decades the UAE has gone from being a sleepy trading port to one of the most dynamic and stable economies in the world while also having a stable political situation.
The UAE has become the destination of choice for many tourists and business people who have also bought property and invested there. The offering of a ‘retirement visa’ for those over 55 is a logical step so that the UAE and Dubai in particular continues to thrive in an ever changing and more volatile world.
While the Visa will not be launched until 2019 the outline details of how it will work have been laid out. There will be three routes to securing a visa which will either be investment in a property, liquid investment or proof of a regular income. The requirements for a ‘retirement visa’ in terms of financial commitment appear similar to European countries mentioned above but the process is likely to be far easier and less bureaucratic.
The launch of the UAE ‘retirement visa’ now offers real choice in this market as unlike European and Asian countries currently the UAE does not tax income. For retirees this could be a significant factor when thinking about retirement.
Astraasia specialise in all aspects of retirement planning for expats and we welcome the addition of the UAE as another choice in this market. Feel free to reach out if you would like to know more.