Apparently, according to the Gulf Weekly newspaper, more Britons are moving to live in Dubai in retirement – or so says a report on the PropertyShowrooms website anyway.  Retire to live in Dubai?  I don’t think so!  For one thing the heat would probably kill you…

We find it incredibly hard to believe that Dubai is going to be a popular choice with 60 something Brits seeking a more laid back pace of the good life and quite possibly a more affordable cost of living in retirement.  Dubai is certainly not synonymous with a laid back life nor with the concept ‘affordable,’ and what’s more, why on earth would anyone think about retiring to one of the most dynamic, fastest growing cities in the world?  It defies logic.

Yes Dubai is an incredible place to live.  The standard of living for those who can afford it is exceptional.  Even modest households have ‘staff,’ even modest home owners or tenants live in pretty luxurious accommodation, and even modest shoppers find their taste buds tempted by the range of fabulous retail outlets across the emirate.  But Dubai is just not the kind of place one retires to!

In retirement most people want to have a good life, they want to get the most out of their time outside of work.  They want to spend more time with family or friends, more time outside doing things!  Well, Dubai is a long haul destination – it is not the sort of place that friends and family will ‘pop’ to visit you for a weekend break.  What’s more, the heat of the summer sunshine is actually lethal therefore, much in the same way as one is often housebound because of the weather in the UK, (the wet weather), so one is often air conditioned housebound in Dubai because of the extremely hot weather.  What’s more, Dubai is not an emirate designed around those seeking a place to relax and take it easy.

The traffic alone in Dubai would be enough to drive someone attempting to relax to a near nervous breakdown.  Then there’s the fact that a large majority of expats living in Dubai are of the work hard, play harder variety – these are not the sort of neighbours the average retiree really wants!  On top of all of these factors you need to look at the cost of living in Dubai – it is soaring.  Inflation in the emirate makes the current rate of inflation that households in the UK are facing look like nothing in comparison.  The cost of housing – whether you buy or rent in Dubai – is high…for a retiree who has a restricted amount of money available to them, buying or renting a property in Dubai could rob them of all their retirement income.  And that’s before you look at simple costs such as physically getting to Dubai, affording to shop for groceries or even go out occasionally – and then there’s the cost of health care.

No, we just cannot accept that Dubai is ever going to rival the likes of Spain, Cyprus, France or Italy as a place for Britons to move to in retirement.  And we doubt the government of the emirate minds anyway, it’s not the retirement market they’re after really is it.