30 July 2013| Last updated on 19 January 2020
Making A Graceful Exit From Dubai
There are lots of articles and resources about setting up in Dubai- but what about when it comes time to leave? Here is our advice on getting yourself organised to leave…
NOTIFY THE SCHOOL
Each school will have its own procedures for withdrawing your child from their education. Check on your initial agreement how much notice you have to give etc. Make sure you research what documents will be required by the next country’s education system- educational certificates, vaccination certificates etc.
PREPARE THE KIDS
For some children the prospect of a new school, new friends or even a new bedroom can be daunting. Talk to your children about your move and get them used to the idea well in advance. There are many good websites and many good books which touch on the best way to handle children during a move.
• Involve your children in the planning process.
• Help them learn about the new community where they will be living.
• Let them be honest with you about how they are feeling.
• Try explaining the concept of moving to young children by play-acting with dolls, boxes and a truck.
Above all, keep your children safe on the moving day and reassure your children that you’re not going to leave them behind!
SELLING YOUR STUFF
You might not want to ship all your goods with you, so try selling them here before you go- you can do online, print or have your own garage sale. You can put a Classified ad on ExpatWoman.com, put notices on community notice boards in super markets in your area, or try Gulf News too! Speak to your landlord… maybe the next tenants would like to buy some of your furniture too. Do something nice before you leave too- anything that’s left you could donate to charity.
SHIPPING YOUR GOODS
There are many shipping companies operating from Dubai- search the ExpatWoman.com information board for recommendations. You can have your own container or do a part container to split costs. To save money only take things you really will re-use when you get to your new home. Follow the shipper’s advice of things you can and can’t take with you and keep separate things you will need with you before you move or on your journey.
You need to make provision for your pets well in advance of leaving- whether it’s finding them new homes or planning to take them home with you.
You will need…
• Original Valid Vaccination Card
• Copy of Passport and Visa
• Flight details
• Health Certificate
• A travel box that must meet IATA standards ww.ipata.com for more info
Ensure that you are familiar with the specific requirements of the country you will be relocating to. Rules and regulations change frequently, and there are different requirements for each country. There are a number of companies here that will help you do this process try The American Vetinary Clinic and The British Vetinary Centre for more help!
If you need to find a new home for your pet try friends and family first…it will be nice for you to know that your pet will have a nice home when you leave!
SELLING YOUR CAR
When you have found a buyer for your car you first need to clear off the remainder of your car loan- if applicable. You will need to contact your bank to do this and they have to issue you with a statement saying that the loan is fully paid off….this can take between 2 days to 10 days so make sure you have left enough time. You and the new owner of the car need to go to the Traffic Police Department and transfer the ownership documents.
The buyer of the car needs to have already obtained insurance for the vehicle before you go to the Traffic Department. You will both need to go at the same time. You will also need to clear off any fines you have got on the vehicle at this time too- take cash with you!
• You will need passport with residence visa, driving licence, insurance documents, and copies of everything.
• The seller will need their passport copy with residence visa and vehicle registration card.
You will need to check your tenancy contract for how and when to notify your landlord. If you need to stay for an extra month after your contract has finished try negotiating with them- they will be happy of the guaranteed rent sometimes! Also take note of whether you have to return the flat/ villa with white walls. You will have to leave the premises clean and tidy and free of any rubbish or furniture to be able to get your deposit back.
DEWA- getting switched off!
There are two steps to this process- getting your final reading and then paying the final bill
• You can email DEWA or do this first step in person visit www.dewa.gov.ae for more info on the online procedure
• At least 2 days before you are vacating the premises go to the ‘Consumer Billing Department' of DEWA Head with your consumer account number. Tell them when the premises will be vacated and leave your contact telephone number.
• A technician will visit the premises and record the final meter reading. The supply is then disconnected.
• When the final bill is ready you will be notified by SMS or telephone. The final bill will also be sent by post or available for your collection.
• Go to any DEWA office and pay the bill, get your DEWA bill stamped "final bill" and collect the final receipt.
• Go to the DEWA Head Office ‘Security Deposit Counter' and hand over:
1.The final bill receipt.
2. Your original security deposit receipt. (If you have lost this you can complete an indemnity form from the Security Deposit Counter.
3. A copy of your passport.
4. A copy of your labour card or UAE driving licence to confirm your identity, if the security deposit is in a company name, a letter stamped by the company asking the deposit to be refunded and clearly stating the name of the person who is authorized to collect the deposit.
• The Cashier will adjust the final bill to take in to account the security deposit and if there is any credit you will receive the amount in cash or cheque. If you owe an amount you must settle them in cash only.
Visit any Etisalat office with your ID and a copy of the previous month’s bill and pay the outstanding amounts. Then submit a written request for cancellation of your accounts. There is a one month notice period for dues from the time of cancellation. You will have paid deposits for some of Etisalat services- make sure you find the receipts and get your money back!
CLOSING YOUR BANK ACCOUNTS
When you inform your employer that you will be leaving, they do sometimes notify your bank of your departure if you opened the account through your company, and it is possible that your account gets frozen. You may want to withdraw any cash before you let your employer know of your departure, unless you're fairly certain that access to your account won't be denied. You will have to clear all loans and credit cards before leaving the country so make arrangements with your bank to finalise all these payments.
Normally your employer will arrange cancellation of your residence visa and work permit when the time comes to leave the UAE. Any dependants need to be cancelled before the main visa is cancelled.
If you do have to do the procedure yourself, labour permit and residence permit cancellation can be done at the The Department of Naturalisation and Residency Dubai (DNRD) now instead of the Ministry of Labour. You can call the toll free Amer hotline for help 800 5111.
Once your residence visa is cancelled, you also have up to 30 days to exit the country, otherwise you will be fined 25 AED per day for the first 6 months, 50 AED per day for the next 6 months, and 100 AED per day after that.
You will be given an exit document that you need to get stamped upon leaving the country and a copy will be left at the airport for your employer’s representative to pick up, or they may come with you on the day.
• Get your dental and doctors records that you may need to take you
• If you have domestic help make sure you have sorted their new sponsorship out/ arranged to send them home
• Make copies of everything you are going to need in advance- visa, passport, labour card
• Dig out all those deposit receipts for Etisalat, DEWA, Landlord in advance
• Make yourself a check list to get organised!