Leaving Dubai UAE: A Simple 19 Checklist for a Smooth Departure

Leaving Dubai Guide: Steps for a Stress-Free Transition

Leaving Dubai or UAE can be tough, especially when your visa or work contract is ending. It needs careful planning, whether you’re leaving temporarily or for good. It’s a big task, and there’s a lot to think about. We’ve created a checklist to help you leave smoothly. This checklist covers more than just the basics, making sure you don’t forget anything important before you leave.

This guide stresses the importance of canceling various accounts before leaving Dubai to avoid problems later. The checklist details the key accounts you should cancel, making your transition to the next place easier. By following these simple steps, you can confidently leave Dubai without any unnecessary complications.

Leaving Dubai Checklist

Here are the crucial tasks you should complete before departing from Dubai.

  1. Cancelling your Visa
  2. Debt Clearing and Sorting Out finances
  3. Collect All your Dues
  4. Clearing Outstanding Fines
  5. Closing Bank Account and Clearing Debts
  6. Cancelling Your Tenancy Contract
  7. Settling Your Utility Bills
  8. Cancelling Electricity and Water Connection
  9. Terminating Landline, Internet and Cellular Connections
  10. School Transfer Certificate
  11. Selling Your Car in the UAE
  12. Selling Your Furniture
  13. Housemaid Job Transfer
  14. Tax Consideration
  15. Membership Subscription
  16. Post Office and Mail Services
  17. Getting Moving Quotes and Packing Tips
  18. Arranging for Your Pet Before Departure
  19. Applying for a UAE Out Pass
  1. CANCELLING YOUR VISA

When you’re planning to leave Dubai, canceling your visa is a top priority. Inform your employer as soon as you decide to leave, and make sure to cancel your visa and your dependents’ visas before departure. If you’re on a sponsored visa, handing over your passport temporarily is part of the cancellation process.

For visa cancellation, individuals can’t start the process themselves; it’s the responsibility of their visa sponsors. However, those with an investor visa can independently request visa cancellation. If you’re on an employment visa, your employer needs to settle any pending salary, provide entitlements like leave salary and gratuity, and supply an air ticket before canceling the work permit with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE).

Failing to cancel your visa on time can cause delays and may lead to being marked as an absconder in the immigration system. After applying for cancellation, check your UAE visa status to ensure approval. You have 30 days to leave the country after cancellation, and staying beyond this period will result in overstaying fines.

If your employment contract is ending, give your passport to your employer temporarily for the cancellation of your residence visa. This crucial step helps avoid departure delays and unnecessary hassles. During contract and visa cancellation, you can also request your employer to provide your salary and potential gratuity payments. If you’re resigning, follow the required notice period according to UAE labor law and return any official documents, such as medical cards, at the time of contract cancellation.


2. DEBT CLEARING AND SORTING OUT FINANCES

Paying off debts and organizing your finances is a crucial step when leaving the UAE. Not settling debts is a serious matter and can lead to legal trouble, including arrest and possible imprisonment. Immigration officials may prevent you from leaving if you have outstanding debts, so it’s essential to clear all loans and close any active credit cards before departing.


3. COLLECT ALL YOUR DUES

Once your resignation is accepted, you’ll need to work for a specific period. During this time, apply for your gratuity payment if it applies to your situation. Give both yourself and the company enough time to complete the necessary procedures.


4. CLEARING OUTSTANDING FINES

Before leaving the UAE, it’s important to address any outstanding fines. Regardless of your residency status, keeping track of potential fines is crucial to maintaining a clean record and avoiding legal issues.

Review your fines carefully and deal with them before your departure. There are various ways to check fines in Dubai, including the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA)Opens in a new tab. website, the Dubai Police Opens in a new tab.website, the Emirates Vehicle Gate (EVG) Opens in a new tab.website, and the Ministry of Interior’s website. Choose the method that suits your needs.

  • For Dubai: Check the RTA website or explore how to check traffic fines in Dubai.
  • For Abu Dhabi: Visit the Abu Dhabi Police’s official portal.
  • For Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, and Fujairah: Go to the Ministry of Interior’s (MOI) website to pay fines.
  • For Ras Al Khaimah: Visit the eServices section on the Government of Ras Al Khaimah’s official website.
  • For Sharjah: Visit The Sharjah Police Headquarters website or make a Sharjah traffic fines inquiry online to clear your dues.

5. CLOSING BANK ACCOUNT AND CLEARING DEBTS

Closing your bank account before leaving the UAE is a crucial step, and while the specific steps may vary slightly between banks, the general process is similar throughout the country.

To start the closure process, you typically need to visit a local branch of your bank. Fill out a closure form and provide a valid ID, such as your Emirates ID or passport. It’s also important to deactivate any checks, debit cards, or credit cards associated with the account.

After completing the closure process, you can request a letter from the bank confirming that your account is closed. Make sure to keep enough money in the account to cover any possible fees.

Dealing with overdrafts, loans, and credit cards may take some time, usually around two months. Therefore, it’s advisable to begin this process about three months before you plan to leave the country.


6. CANCELLING YOUR INSURANCE POLICIES

If you have insurance policies in Dubai, such as health, car, or home insurance, contact your insurance providers to cancel or transfer the policies. Ensure that you understand the cancellation process and any potential refunds or charges.


7. CANCELLING YOUR TENANCY CONTRACT

Cancelling your tenancy contract is a crucial step before leaving the UAE, especially in Dubai, where the process is governed by Article 7 of the RERA Opens in a new tab.tenancy law. According to this law, neither the tenant nor the landlord can terminate the contract before its expiration unless both parties agree otherwise.

However, terminating the contract prematurely requires payment of compensation or penalties specified in the tenancy agreement, which might include an additional rent of two months or a two-month notice.

To smoothly cancel your tenancy contract, consider the following steps:

  • Inform Your Landlord in Writing: Notify your landlord in writing about your plans to relocate at least 90 days in advance. This early communication is essential for a smooth process.
  • Understand Contract Conditions: If you are ending the lease before its term, be prepared to pay a few months’ rent, as outlined in your tenancy agreement. Familiarize yourself with the conditions for terminating your lease early in Dubai and ensure compliance.
  • Retrieve Your Security Deposit: Upon handing over the property without any damage, you can request the return of your security deposit. However, if significant changes have been made to the property, you may face penalties resulting in a deduction from your deposit.
  • Return of Remaining Rent Cheques: Once the contract is cancelled, ask your landlord to return any remaining rent cheques you had provided. This ensures clarity and avoids unnecessary financial transactions.
  • Ejari Registration Cancellation: Request your landlord to cancel the Ejari registration, which is the official registration of your tenancy contract with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency. This step is crucial for completing the cancellation process.

By following these steps, you can start the tenancy contract cancellation process smoothly and avoid any complications related to penalties or legal issues.


8. SETTLING YOUR UTILITY BILLS

Before leaving Dubai and the UAE, it’s crucial to take care of your utility bills. Reach out to the customer service departments of your utility providers to request final bills covering services like phone, television, internet, water, and electricity. Once you’ve paid these bills, contact the providers to cancel the services.

For disconnecting services from the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA)Opens in a new tab., you may need to visit their office in person multiple times. On the other hand, ending contracts for phone, television, and internet services can typically be done with just one visit to the customer service offices.

Here’s how you can initiate the utility disconnection process in different emirates of the UAE:

Abu Dhabi:

  • Initiate a request to Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC) Opens in a new tab.to close your account via call or through their website.
  • Inform ADDC of your planned move-out date.
  • Choose how you want to receive your deposit, either to your account via IBAN, transfer to another property account with ADDC, or donate to Emirates Red Crescent.
  • An ADDC technician will check the meter readings.
  • Pay the final bill to receive an account closing letter, which can also be sent to you by email. The entire process takes about two days.

Dubai:

  • Apply for the DEWA Opens in a new tab.disconnection process for water and electricity connections.

Sharjah:

Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, and Ras Al Khaimah:

  • For the northern emirates, the Federal Electricity & Water Authority (FEWA) manages basic utility services. Understand the process and charges to deactivate a FEWA connection in the UAE.

Taking these steps will ensure a smooth utility disconnection process and help you avoid any issues related to outstanding bills or services after you leave the country.


9. TERMINATING LANDLINE, INTERNET, AND CELLULAR CONNECTIONS

When closing or canceling your Etisalat account Opens in a new tab.or Du TelecomOpens in a new tab. services, follow these simple steps:

  1. Visit Outlets with Emirates ID: Visit any of their outlets with your Emirates ID to initiate the termination process.
  2. Call Customer Service: Call 155 for Du or 101 for Etisalat. Verify the requested details, including your method of payment and the last charges you paid.
  3. Pay Ongoing Month’s Rental Charges: Pay the rental charges for the ongoing month to settle any outstanding fees. Once done, you can proceed to close the connection.

By following these steps, you can efficiently terminate your landline, internet, and cellular connections with Etisalat or Du Telecom services, ensuring a smooth disconnection process before leaving the UAE.


10. SCHOOL TRANSFER CERTIFICATE

When preparing to leave Dubai, obtaining the school transfer certificate is a crucial task for parents. Here’s why it should be on your checklist:

  1. Informing Schools and Educational Institutions: If your children are enrolled in schools or educational institutions, inform them about your departure. Ensure you complete all necessary withdrawal procedures in a timely manner.
  2. Settling Outstanding Fees: Before leaving, make sure to settle any outstanding fees with the school. This is essential for a smooth departure process.
  3. Collecting Transfer Certificates or Academic Records: Contact the school authorities to collect the transfer certificate or academic records. This certificate will be required when applying for admission to a new school.
  4. Inquire About Tuition Fee Refunds: If you are leaving before the end of the academic year and have paid tuition fees in advance, inquire with the school authorities about the possibility of a refund. Understand their policy regarding prepaid fees.

By addressing these points, you ensure a seamless transition for your children when moving to a new school, and you can properly conclude your engagement with the current educational institution in Dubai.


11. SELLING YOUR CAR IN THE UAE

Selling your car is a crucial step before leaving the UAE. Here’s a guide on what you need to do:

  1. Service Your Car: Ensure your car is in good condition by getting it serviced by a professional auto service provider.
  2. Take High-Quality Photos: Capture high-quality photos of your car to use in advertisements.
  3. Provide Details: Share details about the service history and specifications of your car to attract potential buyers.
  4. Advertise: Post ads on social media platforms or visit second-hand car dealers/buyers in your emirate to find potential buyers.
  5. Timing is Important: Allow sufficient time to get a good offer before your relocation. Rushed sales might result in lower bids.
  6. Clear Dues: Clear all dues, including any car loans or Salik payments. If your car is financed by a bank, follow the complete process for selling a financed car in Dubai.
  7. Complete Ownership Transfer: Ensure the car ownership transfer procedure in the UAE is completed before you leave.

Required Documents for Selling a Vehicle in Dubai:

According to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) Dubai, the necessary documents include:

  • Seller’s passport, original Emirates ID, and vehicle ownership certificate.
  • Buyer’s Emirates ID (original), passport copy, and/or residence visa (for non-GCC expats).
  • Electronic insurance of the vehicle.
  • Technical inspection certificate of the vehicle.

Vehicle Ownership Transfer Locations:

To transfer car ownership in Dubai, visit RTA customer happiness centers, Tasjeel, and Shamil service centers.


12. SELLING YOUR FURNITURE

While moving companies can transport your furniture, selling it can be an alternative. Follow these steps:

Use social media or online marketplaces like dubizzleOpens in a new tab., Buy It, Sell It, Swap It Dubai, and The Luxury Closet to find potential buyers for your furniture.

Consider distributing flyers in your area or visit second-hand furniture shops in Dubai to explore additional selling options.


13. HOUSEMAID JOB TRANSFER

If you employ a housemaid, follow these steps:

Inform your housemaid well in advance and provide sufficient time to find another employer.

Collect the housemaid job transfer documents from any typing center. Submit the completed documents to the GDRFA’s Residency section, and the initial deposit will be returned.


14. TAX CONSIDERATION

Seek advice from tax lawyers or accountants to address any potential tax liabilities before leaving the country.


15. MEMBERSHIP SUBSCRIPTIONS

Cancel local memberships and subscriptions, settling outstanding payments for gym memberships, club memberships, or magazine subscriptions.


16. POST OFFICE AND MAIL SERVICES

Redirect your mail or inform the local post office about your departure to ensure important correspondence reaches your new address. Settle any outstanding payments.


17. GETTING MOVING QUOTES AND PACKING TIPS

Depending on the amount of furniture you own, get quotes from different shipping companies in Dubai. Compare the costs of shipping furniture against buying new items.

Pay attention to the fine print details when evaluating offers from different international moving companies. Learn effective packing techniques to ensure safe transportation.


18. ARRANGING FOR YOUR PET BEFORE DEPARTURE

Before you leave, make sure to arrange all the necessary details for your pet, ensuring they are well taken care of during and after your departure.


19. APPLYING FOR A UAE OUT PASS

For those lacking a valid UAE visa due to expiration or cancellation, applying for a UAE out pass is necessary. This is crucial for visitors who overstay their visas. Check the dedicated article covering the UAE out pass for more information.

This concludes our leaving Dubai checklist. By addressing these aspects, you can streamline the process of leaving the UAE and ensure a smooth transition.

Planning well in advance is the key to a calm and smooth relocation. If you have a specific departure date in mind, starting the process six months in advance is advisable. This allows ample time to avoid last-minute stress.

Take this opportunity to reflect on your time in this incredible city. Plan gatherings with family and friends, perhaps organizing a farewell dinner at your favorite fine dining restaurant in Dubai. Revisit your favorite activities in the city, savoring the moments before your departure.

Follow the proper procedures outlined by each service provider to guarantee a smooth transition to your next destination. Safe travels!


Deena

Human Resource professional and writer.

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