Financial Future-Proofing: Is Dubai Your Gateway to a Fulfilling Retirement?

Out of the darkness of COVID-19, we are starting to see significant emergence of light. Here at we are loving that winter weather is on the way. Whilst the days are feeling cooler, the warmth of community spirit remains undiminished and the “fire” that is Dubai’s determination to overcome all obstacles or “Covid challenges” has never burned brighter.

Out of these obstacles comes opportunity and Dubai as a recognised land of the same is again showing its relentless pursuit for innovation by announcing its “Retire in Dubai” initiative.
Aimed at the over 55’s, the objective is to promote Dubai as the “retirement destination of choice” based on the unique and distinctive lifestyle that this visionary emirate offers.

Initially, the program will target long-term expatriate residents who have lived and worked in Dubai for more than 10 years. It is hoped that their familiarity with Dubai’s outstanding quality of life, world class services and tolerant, harmonious approach to embracing all nationalities will form a compelling incentive to stay and take up what is seen as an “easy and hassle-free retirement option”. This will have a positive impact on the local economy as it will provide a source of sustainable revenue with prolonged spending in local businesses as well as encouraging loved ones and friends to visit Dubai: boosting hospitality and retail sectors with additional revenue.

Sounds good! Where do I sign?

This will be a really attractive development for many of us that have made Dubai our “second home”, but of course, eligibility criteria will make those able to avail the opportunity fewer. For expatriates of retirement age, the reward is chance of a 5-year visa: with the possibility to automatically renew this online for a further 5- year period, provided that the eligibility criteria continue to be met. These include one of the following: either a monthly income of AED20,000, AED1million in cash savings, or ownership of AED2million worth of property in Dubai: together with valid UAE Health insurance covering the applicant and their spouse or dependent family members included within the application. Sounds straightforward enough?

But what if I’m not of retirement age and I don’t meet the criteria?

Maybe you don’t fit the profile now but it doesn’t mean you can’t! 2020 has taught us to “expect the unexpected” and whilst insurance is generally designed to cater for the “unexpected and unforeseen”, it actually can be a really effective future-proofing tool for gaps you’ve identified.

Now’s a good time to get yourself and your finances in shape so wherever, or whenever, you decide to retire to you’re prepared. If you do decide on Dubai as your longer-term home here are some areas where insurance could assist, making you better prepared for when the time comes for those all-important qualifying criteria!

Health Insurance: a valid policy will be a condition of the Retirement Visa. As we get older, rates increase due to our age but we can try to minimise the amount of any rise in rates by staying fit and healthy, eating well, minimising or eliminating smoking and alcohol consumption and avoiding “acquired” health conditions such as Type2 Diabetes, Osteoarthritis, heart attacks, kidney or liver function problems and respiratory diseases (such as COPD, asthma, lung cancer) where there can be “controlled” contributory factors. Whilst we can’t control the need for us to have Health Insurance, we can influence the level of premium we pay to a certain degree but maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Home Insurance: you may already have a property in Dubai and if it’s over AED2million you’ve already qualified! Whatever your property value, could you afford to rebuild your home and your life in the event of a fire or other unforeseen event? We’ve seen countless examples in Dubai in recent years of devastating fires in residential homes & towers and in many cases occupants were uninsured. Protecting your home and its contents with a Home insurance policy is more affordable than you think and often a premium of a hundred dirhams can protect several thousands.

Protection Policies: that cash savings target of AED1m might seem a long way off but taking positive action now could see you realise your goal. Do you have financial commitments such as regular loan, mortgage or credit card repayments you would struggle to meet in the event of redundancy, injury or even death? Protect your commitments with a variety of policies such as Critical Illness, Universal Life, Term Life Assurance or a Credit Life policy that makes payments direct to your lender.

Time flies even if we aren’t right now! And it’s never too early or too late to think about the future. can offer great advice on what insurance products are available in the market and assist you with arranging a suite of policies that are sweet on your pocket! It’s worth researching and considering all your options now to ensure your present is insured and your future assured.

About Author

Rachel Al Mughairi
Rachel Al Mughairi

About Author

With over 34 years in the international insurance industry in a variety of senior management roles, and as holder of the Diploma in Insurance from the Chartered Insurance Institute, Rachel surely knows her insurance! With experience in London, continental Europe and the Middle East, Rachel is here to share her knowledge and help you understand more about insurance products in this easy-to-understand series of videos and blogs.