Whether you’ve been working in Dubai for a few years, a decade, or even more — the time will come when you will eventually have to say goodbye for good. Of course, this involves more than just packing your bags and booking the next flight out!
Before leaving the UAE, there are certain things to take care of… your visa, utility bills, and bank accounts, to name a few. In today’s post, we’ll be discussing the different steps you need to take to ensure a smooth and hassle-free exit from the country. Keep on reading to know more!
Things to Do Before You Leave Dubai, UAE for Good
As with most cases of transition and relocation, it is always wise to begin preparations in advance. Six months before your intended date of departure would be a good time to start, as this gives you plenty of time to do the following:
#1 – Cancel your visa.
This is perhaps the most important thing to do before leaving Dubai. If you are on a sponsored visa and your contract is ending soon (or you are planning to resign), you will need to have your visa canceled. Keep in mind that after your residence visa has been canceled, you will need to leave the UAE within 30 days. Otherwise, if you stay beyond this grace period, you will be subjected to overstaying fines.
Consequently, if your family is living with you, you will need to have their dependent visas canceled before departing from the UAE.
#2 – Apply for end-of-service (gratuity) pay.
After your company accepts your resignation, you will need to apply for end-of-service or gratuity pay. This could take some time on the part of your company, so consider this as well before deciding when you plan to leave. In addition, read more about the things you should know before resigning from your job, as well as how to calculate your gratuity or end-of-service pay in the UAE
#3 – Settle any debts and sort out your finances.
Failure to settle your debts is a criminal offence in the UAE, and it involves hefty fines and even a jail term. If you try to leave the country without paying your debts, immigration officials could stop you from boarding your plane! To avoid any problems, be sure to pay all your loans and close any active credit cards.
If you own a car, remember to cancel your Salik tag and pay for any outstanding traffic fines. With regard to tax, you may need to consult an accountant to make sure that you don’t have any tax liabilities and other money matters that could be left unsettled.
#4 – Close your bank accounts.
This includes any Dubai-based bank account that you own. To close your bank account, simply bring your passport and Emirates ID to the bank, then fill out a closure form. The bank could either give you your money in cash, or transfer it to another bank outside the country. For more information, please read our post about banking, taxes, wills, and other money matters in the UAE.
#5 – End your tenancy agreement.
If your departure more or less coincides with the end of your tenancy contract, moving out of your residence is easy and pretty much straightforward. On the other hand, you may have to pay an extra month’s rent, depending on your agreement. In any case, be sure to discuss the matter with your landlord so that you can end your tenancy contract smoothly and in good terms.
#6 – Settle your utility bills.
Of course, moving out also means settling your utility bills, such as water, electricity, Internet, phone, and other services. You may also have to visit the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) to have these services disconnected. As for your Internet and phone services, go to the nearest office of your telecommunication company to settle your accounts.
#7 – Obtain your kids’ school transfer certificate.
If you have children living with you and studying in Dubai, don’t forget to inform their school about your plans to leave, and ask for your children’s school transfer certificate. Your children will need this document when enrolling into a new school in your home country or other countries abroad. In addition, if you are leaving before the end of the school year, clarify with school authorities whether you are entitled to any refunds of tuition fees that had been paid in advance.
#8 – Arrange for your housemaid’s job transfer.
If you have a housemaid or nanny working for you in Dubai, make sure that you inform him/her about your plans to leave. This would give them time to find a new employer. Simply go to a typing centre and accomplish your housemaid’s job transfer documents. Submit these to the residency section of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai, and collect the deposit that you paid initially.
#9 – Make shipping arrangements.
Depending on how much furniture or belongings you have, you might need to make shipping arrangements for easier travel. Fortunately, there are many shipping and cargo companies in Dubai that can transport your things safely and for a good price.
#10 – Sell your old things.
Instead of taking all your belongings with you, consider selling some of them, such as your car, furniture, appliances, clothes, shoes, and other items. You can start by offering them to your friends, or posting them online. This way, you not only have to worry about carrying too much stuff… you end up with some extra money in your pocket, too!
Leaving Dubai doesn’t have to be a daunting task, especially if you prepare for it months in advance. By keeping the above steps in mind, you’ll be sure to have a smooth and problem-free exit!
In fact, perhaps the only thing you’ll have to worry about is missing this beautiful country when you finally leave for good. So while you still have time, why not travel and discover the 7 emirates of the UAE? You will find that there are still so many awesome places to visit and exciting things to do here!