Dubai has always been one of the top choices for expats to live in because of the ideal lifestyle that it offers to residents.
However, people still leave Dubai for different reasons. It could be new work opportunities, starting a family or just moving back home.
It’s a hard choice, but leaving the city is inevitable at times and you need to go through the motions of finding moving boxes for packing and thinking about everything that needs to be done before your departure.
Close All Your Bank Accounts
One of the first things on your list before leaving Dubai is to close all your bank accounts with any Dubai-based bank.
Settle any credit card balances and decide whether you want to withdraw your money or transfer it to another account in the country where you’re moving.
To close a bank account in Dubai, you just need to visit your bank to fill out a closure form and bring your passport and Emirates ID with you as proof.
Cancel Your Dubai Visa
Whether you moved to Dubai as an employee or entrepreneur, you need to cancel your residency visa as well as your dependents’ visas before leaving.
If you’re working for a company under a sponsored visa, inform your employer of your plans to leave Dubai after tendering your resignation.
The employer will work with you in processing the cancellation and you need to hand over your passport temporarily with them.
If you’re an entrepreneur or freelancer, you should process the cancellation yourself to avoid any delays in your departure.
Keep in mind that after the visa cancellation is processed, you’ll be given 30 days to leave Dubai. If you stay beyond this period, you’ll incur overstaying fines.
Tender Your Resignation
Once you decide to leave Dubai for good, you need to inform your employer of your plans to resign from the company.
This will give them time to find a replacement and prepare your gratuity or end of service pay since the Dubai government has established end of service benefits for workers.
Article 51 of the UAE Labor Law
If you’re a foreigner working in the private sector in the UAE, you can enjoy these end of service benefits:
- Your gratuity pay will be calculated based on your last wage or basic salary. This will ot include any allowances given by your employer.
- You are entitled to a gratuity pay for the fraction of the year that you served as long sas you’ve completed at least one year of continuous service to the company.
- Your gratuity or end of service pay should be given to you within 14 days from your contract end date.
- If you owe any money to your employer, he has the right to deduct that amount from your gratuity pay.
How to Calculate Gratuity Pay
As an employee, it’s very important to know what your gratuity pay is and how much you can expect to receive after resigning from your job.
Your gratuity pay will depend on your basic salary, the reason for termination of your contract, the number of years you worked with the company and the contract that you have with them.
If you’re a worker in Dubai, you could be under these two types of contracts:
- Limited Contract
This means that there’s an indicated start and end date to your contract and the number of years that you should be working with the company.
If you choose to resign before your end date, you could lose your rights to a gratuity pay.
- Unlimited Contract
This means that there’s no end date or number of years that you’re required to work with the company.
If you choose to resign from your job, you are automatically entitled to a gratuity pay provided that you gave one to three months of notice.
In this table, you’ll see what your can expect to receive for your gratuity pay if you’re on a limited or unlimited contract:
|Limited Contract||Unlimited Contract|
|Less than 1 year of service
- No gratuity pay
|Less than 1 year of service
- No gratuity pay
|1 - 5 years of service
- You will receive full gratuity pay based on 21 days of your basic salary
|1 - 3 years of service
- You will receive one-third of your 21-days gratuity pay
|5 years or more of service
- You will receive full gratuity pay based on 30 days of your basic salary for every year of your work
|3 - 5 years of service
- You will receive two-thirds of your 21-days gratuity pay
|5 years or more of service
- You will receive the full 21-days gratuity pay
End Your Tenancy Agreement
If you’re renting in Dubai, it’s very important to plan your date of departure properly, especially if you don’t want to spend extra on accommodation or rent extension.
If you can, time your departure at the end of your contract, so that you can easily move out and not pay any extra rent anymore.
Make sure to inform your landlord ahead of time, so that he can also take the necessary steps to end your tenancy agreement.
Before you can move out of your rental, you should also have enough time to comply with all the rules for tenants stated by RERA.
Important Things to Remember When Ending a Tenancy Agreement
- You need to notify your landlord ahead of time that you’re not renewing your tenancy contract.
- If you fail to provide prior notice, your landlord could collect penaltiesand demand compensation for the hassle.
- Your landlord is required to give you the security deposit either in full or the amount remaining after deductions were made based on pending balances and damages to the property.
- You’re required to surrender the property in the same condition as it was handed over to you except for signs of wear and tear.
- When you end your tenancy agreement and vacate the property, you shouldn’t remove any improvements that you made unless it was agreed between you and the landlord and stated in the contract.
Settle All Your Utility Bills
As you near departure, you need to make sure that all your utility bills are settled. This includes your electricity, water, phone and internet services.
You need to notify the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and the offices of your phone and internet providers that you’re leaving Dubai, so they can disconnect your service.
Indicate the date of your departure, so these agencies can schedule your disconnection and you can settle any remaining bills before you leave Dubai.
Pay Off Your Debt
Unpaid debt is a big no-no everywhere but especially when you’re in the UAE.
If you decide to leave the country without clearing your debt, you could face serious legal consequences that would follow you in the country that you’re moving to.
You could even be flagged by immigration officers at the airport if you’ve defaulted with a bank and ran away with your debt.
It’s also a good step to clear all your debt before leaving Dubai, so you’re starting on a clean slate once you move to another city.
After you’ve decided to leave Dubai, make sure that you give yourself enough time to pay off any loans, credit cards and any other debt in the city.
If you’re running a business, it would be good to consult an accountant to help you sort out your finances and make sure that you don’t leave any financial obligations behind.
If you own a car in Dubai, don’t forget to have your Salik tag canceled before leaving to let the RSA know that you’ve already left the city.
Arrange for Moving Services
Packing and moving your things is one of the most tedious parts of leaving Dubai, especially if you’ve accumulated many things while living in the city.
The truth is, shipping things anywhere can be expensive. So, if you don’t want to spend a lot, it would be wise to choose which stuff to keep or sell.
Some people who leave Dubai choose to sell their furniture and bigger appliances to avoid incurring hefty shipping fees.
You can tell your friends about your move and they may be interested in buying some of your stuff.
But for the things that you choose to keep and ship to your new location, it’s very important to make shipping arrangements ahead of time.
This will allow you to check out different couriers and compare prices to see which one will offer you the best value.
Here are the top moving companies that you can work with in Dubai:
|Crown Relocations||Address: Dubai Investment Park 2 - Warehouse 597-607 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
Contact Information: 04 230 5300
|Choose and Move||Address: 59C7+5R4 Street - 36G Street - Ras Al Khor - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
Contact Information: 050 135 9865
|Executive Movers Worldwide||Address: Bur Dubai - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
Contact Information: 04 396 7635
|Easytruck||Address: 87B 6 Street - Al Quoz - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
Contact Information: 04 321 8532
|HelpXpat||Address: The Icon Tower - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
Contact Information: 04 262 2554
|GAC International Moving||Address: Jebel Ali Gate 4 Junction 6 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
Contact Information: 800 66 8464
Collect School Records
If you’re leaving Dubai with your entire family, it’s very important to collect any school documents that your children will need when applying for a new school.
As soon as you decide to leave the city, you need to inform your children’s school right away and ask for their school transfer certificate.
If you’re leaving before the end of the academic year, you should ask the school if you’re entitled to any refunds of the fees that you paid in advance at the beginning of the school year.
Make sure that you have all your children’s school records before leaving since you’ll need to submit them as part of their requirements when enrolling in a new school.
It would also be smart to ask the school where they’re moving of any special documents that’s needed, so you can furnish them before leaving Dubai.
Now, you should also adapt the same mindset for all the other members of your household.
If you choose to leave your housemaid once you move out of the country, you should take care of her transfer documents and submit them to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).