The top 5 places to live in UAE for your retirement

The top 5 places to live in UAE for your retirement

United Arab Emirates is one of the most popular residential destinations for expats who are retiring.

The region has a good climate - consistently warm and stable year-round weather. Naturally, this means that summers in this region are quite hot.

However, the experience of living in such a climate for decades has forced the residents of the Emirate to develop the most modern housing and air conditioning systems to ensure the greatest comfort even during the hottest periods of the year.

UAE economy is quite stable and the luxury lifestyle is more than affordable relative to other world markets.

The city has specialized areas for recreation, sports, and various other leisure activities.

There is a long list of advantages.

This article is for those who are interested in moving to UAE for permanent residence, either to its capital Abu Dhabi or the largest Emirate of Dubai.

We will list some of the best areas to live in during retirement but first, we will point out 2 attractive reasons to retire to United Arab Emirates - special visas and its tax policy.


Retirement visas

Retirement visas and discount visas for retirees are a fairly new phenomenon in the Emirates. Such visas were introduced in 2019 and provide all expats over 55 years old with the opportunity to obtain a renewable visa if they meet one of three established criteria:

  • You must own real estate or several real estate items in UAE with an amount of more than $544,500.
  • You must have at least $272,250 in pre-retirement savings.
  • You must have active income, that is, wages, tips, salaries, commissions, or a business income of $5,450 or more per month.

This visa is beneficial for many categories of the population including retiring expats who have been living in United Arab Emirates for a long time.

The visa will allow them to continue living in the country without returning to their homeland upon retirement age.

Retirement visas are one of the extreme but not the latest innovation that UAE government is gradually introducing to attract long-term investors to its economy.

This policy towards expats will continue, so it makes sense to periodically check the new initiatives of the Emirates authorities to attract investors and expatriates.

We will move on to another point in this article - taxes and pensions.

Where to live in retirement - top 5 places in the UAE

Pensions from abroad, tax incentives, and avoidance of double taxation

One of the most attractive features of UAE is its fairly tax-free accommodation.

This has made United Arab Emirates the most popular destination for retirees along with Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

There are no taxes levied on personal income, property, and land.

If the Emirates has an agreement with the country where you are a citizen and from where you receive pension payments, then these pensions also may not be taxed.

There are many options to avoid double taxation to get avoid a situation of paying contributions to both the country of your citizenship and the place of residence (UAE).

Top 5 neighborhoods for retirees

Let us move on to our top 5 districts for retirement. The main destinations for an expat to consider are Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

We will select an offer for you from these areas.

Hidd Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi

This is a large cottage village on the shores of the Persian Gulf.

Hidd Al-Saadiyat is one of the most prestigious places to live in Abu Dhabi, it is located at the eastern end of Saadiyat Island.

The main category of affordable housing is villas, all of which are located no more than 300 meters from the coast of Saadiyat Beach. On the opposite side of this coast is the coast of Khor Laffan Bay.

The villas are lined up along the coast and each has a private pool, gym, and yacht club access.

Not far from the village there is are many expensive restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, supermarkets, as well as hospitals, clinics, schools, and parks.

Buyers can choose from villas in 8 different variations with the majority offered as 4 to 5 bedroom homes. Much less common are villas with 6 or 7 bedrooms.

The base selling offer is in the $ 81,500 to $ 204,000 range.

Villas with 6 to 7 bedrooms are much more expensive, ranging from $ 1,600,000 to $ 8,100,000.

Al Reem Island, Abu Dhabi

Al Rim Island is a complex of cottage villages, high-rise apartments, and a resort.

The natural island is home to several large companies: Sorouh Real Estate, Aldar Properties PJSC, Reem Investments, and Tamouh.

Each of them is developing several independent projects in the district:

  • Tamouh is a mixed-use coastal complex.
  • Residential areas are Shams Abu Dhabi.
  • The coastal town of Najmat Abu Dhabi is designed in the style of the famous New York area of Manhattan.

Al Rim offers a wide range of premium properties, a variety of more affordable residential properties, business start-up areas, and temporary hotels.

The island is located 600 meters from the northeastern coast of Abu Dhabi and is one of the first free economic zones in the Emirate, attracting a large number of foreigners to the area - both business people and expats.

The area is well prepared for families with several high-quality educational institutions for children of different ages.

Some of the most popular kindergartens are Mosaic Nursery, Hummingbird Nursery, and Playhouse Nursery.

It is worth noting the Repton School Abu Dhabi which is a multi-award-winning British educational program.

It is also worth noting the Sorbonne branch of the University of Paris.

For people with health problems, the following clinics and hospitals provide their services: Burjeel Hospital, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, and NMC Specialty Hospital.

Apartment prices range from $ 147,000 to $ 2,600,000.

Villa prices range from $ 612,000 to $ 816,700 for a 1- to 3-bedroom offer.

Emirates Hills, Dubai

It is a large area built around the renowned Montgomerie Golf Club offering courses with 18 sectors.

It is one of the most luxurious and expensive areas in Dubai. Accommodation here are villas inspired by a Beverly Hills style.

Prices for housing starts from $ 1,500,00-1,600,000 and can reach $ 51,700,000.

The developer of the area is Emaar Properties.

The range of amenities includes:

  • Pools.
  • BBQ area.
  • Parking.
  • Green spaces.
  • Parks.
  • Gardens.
  • Children play areas.
  • Gyms and fitness centers.
  • Workout areas and racetracks.

From Emirates Hills, you can reach The Meadows, The Lakes, The Springs, Dubai Marina, and Dubai Media City.

The area is home to the famous shopping centers, The Spinneys and Milk & Honey Gourmet Grocer, and a branch of Carrefour Market in neighboring Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT). West Zone Fresh and Al Maya are also located here.

In terms of educational institutions for children, the Lakes branch of the renowned kindergarten brand, Raffles Nursery is located near the area. The Dubai International Academy is in the area, which providing the opportunity to obtain an international bachelor's degree. The Dubai British School which operates according to the British curriculum is also located here.

In the neighboring Meadows, you can enroll at the Emirates International School which also provides the opportunity to obtain an international bachelor's degree.

The following universities are located in Knowledge Park, 15 minutes from Emirates Hills: Michigan State University, Middlesex University Dubai, and the University of Wollongong Dubai.

In terms of medical services, the Saudi German Hospital Dubai is right next to the Hills, the Mediclinic is located in Meadows (10-minute drive), and the Noor Al Shefa Clinic can be found in Springs (12-minute drive).

The Springs, Dubai

Springs is a spacious community of villas (4,800 units), decorated with many green spaces, parks, and recreation areas.

This is one of the most “family-friendly” districts in Dubai, perfect for a semi-provincial, measured lifestyle for large and small families.

Among other things, all conveniences have been catered for those who own pets.

The area is located next to Dubai Marina, the previously mentioned Emirates Hills, Discovery Gardens, and the Jumeirah Village Circle/Triangle.

The area is completely fenced in, all villas come in either 2 to 4 bedrooms, and each is carefully guarded to ensure the complete safety of all residents.

The housing prices range from affordable to premium real estate. Prices go from $ 408,000 to $ 820,000.

There are classic pools, barbecue areas, picnic areas, children's parks, mini basketball courts, and tennis courts among the amenities of the villas.

The following educational institutions are accessible:

  • Raffles Nursery and Jebel Ali Village Nursery.
  • Dubai British School, International School, and Regent International.
  • Michigan University Dubai, University of Wollongong Dubai, and the American University of Dubai.

There are medical clinics in the area. Nicolas & Asp Dental Clinic and Medicaree are located in Meadows. Al Zahra and Saudi German Hospital are located in Al Barsha.

Where to live in retirement - top 5 places in the UAE

Arabian Ranches, Dubai

This is a current project of Emaar Properties created using 3D printing technology. It consists of 3 cottage settlements – Arabian Ranches 1,2 and 3. The third is divided into 4 micro districts - Sun, Joy, Spring, and Ruby.

All areas are made up of luxury quality yet reasonably priced villas and townhouses. The houses are very different - from small villas with 2 or 3 bedrooms to almost 7-room mansions.

Prices range from $ 410,000 to $ 2,000,000.

Academic City campus and Al Barari Eco-District are near the Ranches.

More than 4,000 villas will be completed by the end of construction in Arabian Ranches 3 alone. The total number is approaching 10,000.

There are public parks with an area of several tens of thousands of meters as well as cricket and tennis fields, sports grounds, promenade boulevards, jogging tracks, a fitness center, various workout areas, shopping centers, recreational areas, restaurants, cafes, playgrounds, and barbecue, clubs in the district.

The entire area is fenced off with high levels of security.

Not far away is the Raffles Nursery. You can easily take your children to this kindergarten from Arabian Ranches, as with the previously mentioned areas.

The following facilities are located near the district as well:

  • The Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS) which follows a British educational program.
  • Ranches Primary School.
  • You can enroll in a school with an American program at GEMS United School in nearby Sports City.
  • You can apply to the universities of Birmingham Dubai, Heriot-Watt, and American University in Academic City.

Among medical institutions to choose from are the well-known Mediclinic, Aster Medical Center and Clinic, and Mediclinic Parkview Hospital.


UAE is a great destination for those who want to spend their old age comfortably, however, as explained, it is better to prepare for this move in advance.

Choose an area in advance, purchase real estate in advance, and live in this place in advance (at least temporarily) to understand whether the lifestyle that United Arab Emirates promises suits you.

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