Resident Guide | Working Life

Working after retirement in the UAE

If you need to work beyond the age of retirement in the UAE, you have to obtain the approval of the Labour Minister or the under-secretary.

  • By Bassma Al Jandaly, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 01:20 May 2, 2009

Working life
  • Image Credit: Gulf News Archive
  • Expatriates over 60 years of age require labour ministry approval.

Dubai: If you need to work beyond the age of retirement in the UAE, you have to obtain the approval of the Labour Minister or the under-secretary.

The retirement age varies from job to job. In the UAE one can begin working from the age of 18 till the age of 60, and sometimes even up to 70 years.

Expatriates working in the private sector who are over 60 years of age require the approval of the minister of labour. An approval may be granted if the worker is an expert or a consultant with expertise in a rare specialty.

The UAE laws ban those who are over 60 years of age from being issued with employment visas.

The retirement age can be extended to 65 years and you can obtain a one-year labour contract which has to be renewed every year.

If one is aged between 60 and 65 years, he or she needs the approval of the under-secretary at the ministry of labour.

If one wishes to continue working and he or she is over 65 years and less than 70, they can obtain a one-year renewable job contract and it must be approved by the Labour Minister himself.

The retirement age for workers in the government service is 60 years for men and 55 years for women. However, special professions as judges can extend their service until the age of 65.


The retirement age in the private sector is 60 years. However, expatriate workers who are more than 60 can renew their labour permits until they reach the age of 65, but specialised professionals can continue until the age of 70.

All workers, aged 60 to 65 years can now renew their labour cards annually. However, workers aged 65 to 70 years can only renew their labour cards if they belong to one of the following 11 professions: engineers, doctors, university professors, accountants or auditors, laboratory technicians, oil specialists, specialists in the media, lawyers, translators and consultants, or any other professions the under-secretary of labour or the assistant under-secretary agrees upon.

There is a difference between people renewing their labour permits and those applying for a labour permit for the first time. For first-timers, the rules are difficult. People between 60 and 65 can apply for a labour permit only if they belong to one of the 11 professions.

No pension for expats

  • The retirement age for men in public sector is 60 years of age.
  • The age of retirement in public sector for women is 55 years of age.
  • Judges' retirement age is 65 years.
  • There is no pension for expatriates, only end-of-services benefits.
  • Under the federal law, pension for Emiratis is calculated at 60 per cent of the salary for those with 15 years of service.
  • Some expatriates who have rare specialisations and qualifications can work over the age of 70 if the labour minister approves it.
  • Investors and partners in business can obtain visas and work at any age.