Permanent committee for human rights logo
Permanent committee for human rights logo




The attention and appreciation that  senior citizens enjoy in the UAE today is anchored in the vision of its leadership, who appreciate the role that senior citizens play in society and recognize the value of  their wisdom and knowledge. The UAE prioritises the well-being of the elderly and upholds their rights and welfare through increasing their role in society and maintaining the highest standard of care. 

The UAE is working to further enhance the rights of senior citizens, and consolidate their position within society and the family by creating an environment in which younger generations can learn from the expertise and knowledge of senior citizens. Senior citizens are supported with various initiatives that aim to provide them with a decent life, along with social, cultural and health facilities, and recreational care centres and homes. 

In October 2018, the UAE government launched the National Policy for Senior Citizens, aiming to improve their quality of life, and ensure active and continuous social participation. State institutions, represented by the Ministry of Community Development, continue to provide comprehensive care for senior citizens, and a decent life for all segments of society in the country, based on the UAE’s 2021 vision and the goals of the UAE Centennial Plan 2071.  


The UAE's approach towards senior citizens and their rights is in line with international frameworks and principles, such as those outlined by international organisations like the UN and its agencies. These principles include independence, participation, care, dignity and self-fulfilment.

The principle of participation aims to ensure that senior citizens remain integrated in society, participate actively in the formulation and implementation of policies that directly affect their wellbeing, and share their knowledge and skills with younger generations. The principle of care represents their right to benefit from community care and protection in accordance with cultural values. Senior citizens must also have comprehensive access to healthcare, and social and legal services to maximise their independence. 

The UAE Federal Law No. 9 of 2019 on the Rights of Senior Emiratis aims to ensure that senior citizens enjoy fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, and have proper access to information and services related to their rights, including the right to access  psychological, social and health services.

The law protects the rights of senior citizens to independence. It also provides protection against violence, abuse and neglect. Senior citizens are entitled to a nurturing environment, housing, education and work. The utilisation of their abilities, and their integration in society, is encouraged by all sectors. Senior citizens in the UAE are entitled to confidentiality when it comes to their use of social services and healthcare. By law, they are granted preferential treatment in housing requests, government transactions, aid, health and other services.

Seven Integrated Pillars

Under the directives of its leadership, the UAE has become one of the leading  countries in its strategic vision for the care of senior citizens. As such a strategy was developed specifically for senior citizens, comprising four strategic goals, seven main pillars, and 26 innovative initiatives and projects.

The objectives of the National Policy for Senior Citizens, launched by the UAE in October 2018, stipulate the necessity of improving the quality of life for senior citizens, ensuring their active and continuous social participation, enhancing their community engagement, and ensuring their contribution to society and participation in civic programmes.

The policy includes seven main pillars focused on areas that include:


The healthcare pillar focuses on preventive measures that guarantee the safety and rights of senior members of society. It includes several initiatives, such as a rehabilitation and training programme for caregivers as well as coordinating with local authorities and the private sector to provide easy access to healthcare services for senior citizens across the country.

Community Engagement

The community engagement pillar aims to provide innovative initiatives that enable intergenerational dialogue and knowledge transfer. Initiatives aimed at boosting community engagement include training courses to enhance skills and develop capabilities in modern technology, and organising sports activities for senior citizens through clubs, and social and cultural centres.

Civic Participation

The civic participation pillar aims to create an environment that supports an active lifestyle for senior citizens. It includes initiatives such as launching a programme to attract retired citizens in various fields to share their expertise in work and education. The programme sheds light on the successful experiences of senior citizens to enhance their position as role models in society.

Infrastructure and Transportation

This pillar includes issuing guidelines for an elderly-friendly city that is aligned with senior citizens’ needs, and awards those who follow the guidelines on a federal or emirate level. 

Financial Stability

The financial stability pillar includes initiatives that support the entrepreneurial projects of senior citizens, and rewards proactive efforts to achieve financial stability by opening or operating businesses. 

Safety and Security

The safety and security pillar aims to protect senior citizens by launching initiatives such as a training programme to detect abuse and violence, as well as a hotline to ensure that abuses are reported and complaints are received. 

Quality of Future Life

This pillar aims to provide a good quality of life for senior citizens. It includes granting public transport discounts, and culture and entertainment exchange programmes for retirees.

National Achievements with Global Recognition

The Ministry of Community Development implements initiatives, programmes and agreements aimed at providing social, health, psychological and recreational care for senior citizens, in addition to developing appropriate rehabilitation programmes and services based on their specific needs.

Obtaining Services Easily and Conveniently

The Ministry of Community Development takes proactive steps to ensure senior citizens can easily and conveniently access public services in the field of banking, health and lifestyle. One example is Masara, a package of services and privileges that is automatically linked to the Emirates ID cards of all senior citizens, aiming to improve their quality of life. The Ministry of Community Development also provides mobile clinics and the “Doctor for Every Citizen”, a smart service for senior citizens, providing smooth and swift access to health services to this category.

Centres for Health and Psychological Care

The ministry launched an initiative focused on psychological care methods, with a rehabilitation programme for caregivers, including training courses. Two examples of this are the Badak Shabab initiative and the Ajman Customer Happiness Centre, both of which provide shelter services for senior citizens who do not have family support, along with a mobile unit, to provide healthcare at home.

Health centres that provide home care services for senior citizens and residents are spread across the UAE. They are governed by the National Policy for Senior Citizens which provides residential benefits and day care services alongside with other care takers, that include, protection, communication and home visits, cultural exchange programmes, socio-cultural sports league, and financial facilities for senior citizens. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, senior citizens, regardless of their nationalities, received qualitative care, such as home examination services and access to vaccines, in addition to initiatives such as the We Are Your Family programme, supporting communication with senior citizens, and providing moral support during quarantine. 

The Ministry of Community Development, in cooperation with the Federal Youth Foundation, launched the Guide to Caring for Senior Emiratis During Pandemics, which provided a comprehensive set of guidelines that promoted opportunities for young people to participate in the daily lives of senior Emiratis, thus contributing to strengthening family relations and ties. 

The happiness index for senior citizens (60 years and older) reached 7.75 out of 10 in October 2021, according to the outcomes of the quality of life questionnaires published by the Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi. The questionnaires found that senior citizens were among the happiest groups in society. The indicator was based on factors that include satisfaction with life and housing, time spent with families and friends, and levels of safety, security and comfort.

"We Are Your Family" Initiative Reaches Out to 14,449 Senior Citizens and Residents During the Covid-19 Pandemic"

To enhance societal cohesion and urge community members to communicate with senior citizens and residents, the We Are Your Family phone call initiative was launched during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. The initiative involved ministry employees and volunteers making 14,449 calls to senior citizens to check on their welfare and alleviate worries, in addition to making 32 field visits and providing 115 pieces of sports equipment to promote exercise. The initiative was launched in cooperation with the General Sports Authority.

A day club for senior citizens was launched in Dubai, providing free social, health and entertainment programmes for senior citizens, with the aim of building communication and interaction. A training programme was also established to teach senior citizens how to use modern technology and incorporate it into their daily lives. More than 63,000 senior citizens benefited from the training.