A new community in Dubai is being sold as a perfect location for people to spend their retirement years in.
The city has long been renowned for its transitory nature with a large turnover of residents from all over the world.
Now developer Majid Al Futtaim is banking on that changing as families look to put roots down in Dubai and buy homes to retire in at its new Tilal Al Ghaf housing district.
Earlier this month, Dubai’s government announced a new visa that allowed people of different nationalities to retire in the emirate, providing certain conditions were met.
Arrun Tuli, 62, from India, and his Canadian wife Neeka, 59, are planning on taking advantage of the new visa options.
I’m looking forward to playing with my grandchildren here
Neeka Tuli, who bought a four-bed townhouse
“It was a very easy decision to decide to buy property here,” said Mr Tuli, who runs his own air conditioning company in Dubai.
“We’re planning to spend our retirement living here. We both had a strong feeling that this was the perfect place to set up a home.”
The criteria for setting up home in Dubai long-term include applicants being over the age of 55 and holding valid health insurance.
Residents planning to retire in Dubai must also either earn a monthly income of Dh20,000; have Dh1 million in cash savings; or own Dh2m worth of property in Dubai.
The Tulis were among the first to buy one of 900 three and four-bedroom townhouses in the first phase of the project known as Elan, with the keys set to be handed over in 2022.
The community will span a total of 3 million square metres when completed. Homes include bungalow-style villas, townhouses and larger mansion homes.
Ms Tulli said she bought a four-bedroom townhouse with her husband because it was the perfect location for them to spend time with their grandchildren.
One of the main features of Tilal Al Ghaf is a seven kilometre lagoon.
“The vastness of the area means it’s a great place to walk about in,” said Ms Tulli, who works as a teacher.
“I’m looking forward to playing with my grandchildren here, everything about it is so relaxing.”
While a relaxing retirement community sounds like a million miles away from the hustle and bustle that people associate with Dubai, there are still more than a few nods to the city’s reputation as a futuristic hub.
One of those examples is a robot shaped like a jet fighter that is assigned the task of cleaning the lagoon, which is still under construction.
The townhouses start at Dh1.3 million and so far demand has been high.
Hawazen Esber, chief executive of communities at Majid Al Futtaim, said that all 900 units in the first phase have been sold.
“Tilal Al Ghaf is a place of longevity where generations of families will grow up,” he said.
“If people want to retire in Dubai this is the perfect place.”
He said he was confident that demand will continue to grow for the project, despite the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Despite the global disruption of the pandemic, we have seen high optimism, particularly at Tilal Al Ghaf which saw a phased release of units being sold out in mid-February, and again just this month,” he said.
“Our changing reality has increased concerns among our buyers. As such, all our communities are designed so that all our residents’ needs, whether school, retail, or community centres, are just a few steps away.”
In recent years other developments have sought to wow potential homeowners, with grand designs and even free cars as part of a home purchase.
“It’s not in our USP to plant the Eiffel Tower in the middle of a community. We are giving people what they want,” said Mr Esber.
“We have created a destination where people have a sense of belonging.”
He is not limiting the target market to families looking at retirement destinations though.
“It is a family-focused community that will appeal to a diverse range of cultures, age groups, and nationalities,” he said.
“The neighbourhood provides the modern family with an authentic sense of belonging; where people can connect, socialise and unwind.”
He points to the amenities that will be available in Tilal Al Ghaf as an indication as to why people will be excited about the project, located close to Motor City in Dubai.
He said there will be a school within nine minutes’ walking distance by the time people have moved into the community.
Other amenities include a white sand beach, an 18km cycling and jogging lane as well as tree trails throughout the community.
Updated: September 21, 2020 11:46 AM