The UAE’s decision to introduce a new five-year visa for expat retirees older than 55 will likely encourage expats to remain in later stages of their life as well as keep capital in the country, according to economists.

On Sunday, the government announced that expats over 55 will be able to obtain the new visa if they own a real estate investment of at least AED 2 million, have savings of more than AED 1 million, or can prove income of at least AED 20,000 per month.

The new visa which is expected to be introduced from next year, is essentially about maintaining capital by having people keep their savings in the UAE. Larger economic reforms that have taken place recently have shown a growing realisation among policymakers of the need to make structural changes that gives expats a bigger buy-in to the economy.

Comments Cairo-based EFG-Hermes economist Mohammed Abu-Basha: “The retirement visa will be great if complemented with some ways for expats willing to stay to manage their savings and pensions.”

In May, the UAE approved new long-term visas for investors in the UAE, as well as those who are specialists in medical scientific, research and technical fields, as well as for all scientists and innovators.

A separate five-year residency visa will also be made available to students studying in the UAE and 10-year visas for “exceptional students.”

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