Dubai City Information Site

Want to Retire in Dubai?

Hi, Sunil here to talk about the idea to retire in Dubai…

It is your call at the end of the day, but I personally feel Dubai is not the place you want to spend your golden years.

I guess the first step would be to ask yourself what kind of retirement you want?

How do you want to spend your days and times after sunset?

What kind of weather do you prefer?

What about accessibility to amenities?

What kinds of amenities?

These are all critical questions that must be considered.

If you ask 9 out of 10 retirees who are educated enough about Dubai, they will tell you it is not the right place to retire. In fact whenever I go to Dubai, I rarely see anyone over the age of 60 (of course I can only guess age based on appearance).

Dubai News Reporting Surge in Retirees in Dubai

The Gulf Weekly newsletter reported recently that many British citizens are moving to retire in Dubai. But that is what the report says. My question is where are these people living? See if for yourself when you go to Dubai. I can dare you to a game of “spot that retiree”. We will both be searching for months before we find one.

I actually think there is a conspiracy theory headed by the government. Ready for my theory? Well Dubai is clearly not after the 60+ market that Florida and California are after. So why should Dubai encourage and favor their move to Dubai? They don’t.

Conspiracy Theory Against People Who Want to Retire in Dubai

In fact my theory is that Dubai makes a conscious effort to drive these people out of the Emirate as soon as they “get old”. Very sad, but I really think so. I mean what else explains the fact that you don’t see them anywhere? Maybe just the locals, but no one else.

I mean think about it, until recently you could only live in Dubai if you were employed (your employer was your sponsor). Recently you could live there if you had a business in one of the free zones of if you bought a property in Dubai.

But see owning a business and buying property is “investing” in Dubai. You are contributing to the GDP, to the economy. This is what the government wants. And even if you are over 60, I doubt they will care.

Because at the end of the day, money talks! For them at least. It is not a socialist mentality by any means. It’s all about “take” and “give” doesn’t exist in the government’s dictionary. At least not as of 2008 when I am venting this all out lol.

Image Issues

The other issue is the “image issue”. Does the Goverment really want people to retire in Dubai? Not really. Retirees don't make money. They don't spend either! That makes my theory of purposely driving out the “old people” even stronger.

Grant it that I am communicating this very informally, but I could probably research and write a thesis on this. I seriously think I have a case in point.

What Retirees Want & What Dubai Doesn’t Have?

Generally, retirees seek quiet and peace of mind in a laid back and well weathered setting that is affordable for them. None of these characteristics fit Dubai’s profile do they? The cost of living in Dubai is high (and getting higher and higher by the day). It is far from quiet and definitely not laid back.

Most retirees just want to have a chilled, laid back good life. They have toiled hard enough in their lives that they just want to relax. Even if they do part time work, they want to make the most out of their spare time. Spending 2+ hours daily in traffic is not the way to do that.

Family and friends are most important in retirement age, as well as contributing back to society and the local economy. Your family and friends won’t be around you and typically you would want a location where they can just pop in from anywhere at anytime. I don’t think Dubai is the place for that?

Traffic Problems

The traffic problem in Dubai is only going to get worst. They city is estimated to double in population by 2010 (close to 3 million inhabitants).

Dubai is not very big so you can imagine the problems coming up with congestion, traffic and pollution. As it is, just observing the traffic will give you severe headaches. Let alone getting caught in one. Regardless, you have to be crazy to retire in Dubai in my opinion!

You might be thinking it is only busy during rush hours. You are right. But “rush hour” in Dubai lasts all day! Well that was just a bit exaggerated but you catch my drift.

Summer Heat

This will certainly make the climate much warmer. But like it’s not hot enough to begin with. The heat in Dubai is brutal. In fact it is lethal. In the summers, most people lock themselves up in their homes in full blast AC.

When you could do that anywhere why would you move all the way to Dubai to stay home? I would rather do that somewhere where my family and friends are near so they can visit and I can visit them whenever I want.

Yes, it can kill you. It is a desert after all. Do you think retirees would want to live there? Maybe some, but I certainly wouldn’t.

Cost of Living

Isn’t retirement all about living on your savings? So who would want to dump their life savings into rent payments or buying a property in Dubai? Either way you go you are looking at 50-60% more in expenses compared to most other “ideal” places to retire.

Add to that ever growing inflation and the continuing hikes in utility bills, fuel costs, insurance and healthcare and you can add up a pretty big tab real quick. I would avoid retiring in Dubai for this reason alone.


Dubai is also far from the laid back lifestyle you would want as a retiree. The hustle and bustle of the city will keep you up late at night lol; maybe not so much actually. It is more about the mental stress it puts on you throughout the day.

Most expats, if not all, in Dubai are young professionals who have the work hard and play hard mentality. They are loud, out and about and suffer from severe ADD. Just kidding…but they move around a lot always actively engaged in one activity or another. Are these the ideal neighbors you want when you retire in Dubai?

Dubai is all about rapid growth and constant change. Do you think you can retire in Dubai and enjoy that environment? People are always on the go in Dubai, so much that they don’t have enough time to wipe their own ar%$*&s. It’s sad. Dubai is just not designed as a place to retire.

Great for the Young Folk

I know I’ve bashed Dubai enough in this discussion. But that is only because this discussion is geared for you if you want to retire in Dubai or are contemplating the thought. Hey it is my job to give you an honest and practical perspective. That is what this entire website is about.

All that said Dubai is an amazing place to live for the young professional. I don’t think it’s a good place to raise a family, but it is perfect for the young couple who want to “live it up” for a little bit.

The standard of living is quite good for those that can afford it. Labor is very cheap and so even average middle class households/couples can afford to hire “house boys” or “house girls”. They are pretty much maids who do your laundry, cook, clean, walk the dog and take care of your house.

There are a ton of great Dubai entertainment options and you can find some of the best restaurants in Dubai. There are countless sightseeing opportunities, parks, beaches, bars and nightclubs. You name it and you have it all in Dubai.

Dubai is indeed all that. But one thing that it is not is a place to retire. When I think places to retire I think of the Caribbean, states like California and Florida, France, Italy and Spain. Dubai certainly doesn't have the characteristics these places poses that make them ideal to retire in.

So, do you still want to retire in Dubai?

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