Dubai seeks to attract wealthy foreign retirees as expats leave

DUBAI, Sept 3- Dubai is seeking to attract wealthy foreign retirees as the economy of the Middle East trade and tourism hub reels from the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices, prompting many expatriates to leave. To be eligible, they must have a monthly income of at least 20,000 dirhams or 1 million dirhams in cash savings, or 2 million dirhams worth of property…

DUBAI, Sept 3 (Reuters) – Dubai is seeking to attract

wealthy foreign retirees as the economy of the Middle East trade

and tourism hub reels from the coronavirus pandemic and low oil

prices, prompting many expatriates to leave.

It will grant visas renewable every five years to residentexpatriates and foreigners over the age of 55 who fulfilspecific financial conditions, the government media office said.

To be eligible, they must have a monthly income of at least20,000 dirhams ($5,445) or 1 million dirhams in cash savings, or2 million dirhams worth of property in Dubai.

Important sectors of the Dubai economy such as tourism andtransportation have been severely impacted by the coronaviruscrisis and firms have been cutting jobs to save costs.

This has prompted many expatriates – who make up themajority of the population of the UAE, which includes Dubai – toleave the country in which residency is tied to employment andthat does not offer citizenship routes to non-nationals.

The new law could help prop up Dubai’s real estate market,which has been suffering from oversupply for years.

The economy of Dubai, the UAE’ second-largest andsecond-wealthiest emirate after oil-rich Abu Dhabi, is expectedto shrink sharply this year, with some analysts estimating acontraction of over 10%.($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)(Reporting by Davide Barbuscia; editing by EmeliaSithole-Matarise)