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Retirement Villages in the UAE: A New Trend for Expats

UAE Retirement

Following my recent article on Property Investment in the UAE another trend that is making the UAE a more desirable market is retirement.

The UAE like many countries around the world is competing to attract people who are not sure where they want to retire. The UAE offers world-class healthcare services and a standard of living comparable to any other country.

For the most part of the year, the climate is excellent and suitable for the retired market with year-round sunshine so there are a lot of opportunities for exercise and a healthy lifestyle. The UAE is well-located and has become an International travel hub easily allowing friends and relatives to visit.

For many expats who have spent most of their working life in the Gulf, they are now coming to retirement age and many have already decided to make places like the UAE and Oman their permanent homes.

Factors that have helped them make this decision is that they now have almost no contact with friends or family back in their home country and the climate and economic situation ‘back home’ scares people away.

Trying to make new friends when you retire is very difficult so many expats have decided to retire in places like the UAE where they feel more comfortable more welcome and are likely to have more friends and support.

The UAE has recognized this market and over the past few years has worked to further attract this type of person by putting in the infrastructure and legal framework to support this market. The UAE now offers residence visas for people who invest a certain amount of money in the property market which gives them certainty when it comes to their retirement.

Accommodation Types:

For those looking to retire in the UAE, there is not only plenty of choice with regard to property type but also location. Most people associate the UAE due to its influence with Dubai as a busy city life with beaches and is more associated with the younger generation working there.

The reality is that the UAE consists of seven emirates which are all very different in terms of their location. Abu Dhabi is the capital with Dubai being the commercial hub and best known of the Emirates.

The UAE borders both the Persian Gulf and also the Gulf of Oman and these areas are separated by the barren yet beautiful Hajar Mountain range. Due to the size of the Emirates, it offers many different types of accommodation for the retired market from villas to apartments. Prices vary dependent on the emirate and the location but it is possible to find great value if you are prepared to look a little off the beaten track.

Ras Al Khaimah is one of the more affordable Emirates offering beach properties surrounded by a golf resort. The governments of the different Emirates see a future in tourism and the retirement market and are building the infrastructure to attract both these markets.

Health Care:

This is always a major consideration for the retirement market and the UAE like many countries is pushing itself as a destination for medical tourism. Many Emirates have designated areas set up for the provision of health care and generally, health services in the UAE are very good.

The UAE is also now a fairly mature market and there are plenty of insurance providers who offer health coverage for those who decide to retire or reside in the UAE.


For anyone looking for an active retirement with the flexibility to spend as much time or as little time as one chooses in a country the UAE looks very attractive.

Currently, there is no personal income tax in the UAE and the abundant attractions and multi-cultural population mean you will almost certainly find it easy to make friends and enjoy the lifestyle.

The combination of city, beaches, mountains, and world-class restaurants and entertainment make this a hard place to ignore for those looking for an exciting and different retirement.


The author lived in the UAE for 16 years and has been visiting the country on a regular basis for 40 years. If you are looking to learn more about the incredible story of the success of the UAE and are considering retiring or investing there, please drop me an email.

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