Thinking of moving on? You might want to print this out…

Leaving the UAE isn’t as easy as leaving a bad birthday party, you can’t just grab your stuff and go.

Non-payment of debt is a criminal offence in the UAE, and can lead to people not being able to leave the country, or being stopped and arrested upon trying to re-enter – even if it’s just in transit. Aside from that, it can also incur the wrath of debt collection agencies and legal action.

Don’t leave it all until the last minute though – give yourself a good couple of months to get everything in order before you jet off.

Here is some of the British Embassy’s advice. If you’re planning on moving away from the UAE, we say print this out and tick the things off as you go.

What you need to know before checking out of the UAE

Property, cars and possessions

  1. If you have a property you wish to sell or rent you will need to engage the services of an agent if you are leaving the UAE.
  2. If you rent a property then make sure you give the required notice in your contract or you may be liable for a further payment.
  3. Sell you car before you leave or leave a Power of Attorney with a friend or colleague to sell it for you. If you do use a Power of Attorney, you will need a local lawyer to advise you n this.

Traffic fines

  1. Check for outstanding traffic fines.
  2. Remember to cancel your Salik tag if you have one.
  3. Your insurance company may offer a rebate when the car is sold.
  4. Get quotes for removals. It can take six weeks or longer to ship your belongings to the UK.
  5. Remember to get your shipping insured and consider the cost of storage if required.
  6. Decide what you are taking and organise a sale to dispose of the rest or contact one of the companies that will take your junk for you.

ALSO READ: UAE to ‘enhance and improve’ end of service gratuity system


  1. Give notice to your landlord in accordance with your lease.
  2. Request and collect utilities clearance certificates.
  3. Collect any deposits outstanding from the utility or phone companies.
  4. Cancel your contracts with your mobile phone, internet and TV providers.
  5. Cancel any newspapers or other services delivered to your door.
  6. Cancel your home contents insurance policy.
  7. Return the keys to your landlord and collect any outstanding deposits. You may need to have original receipts to do this.

ALSO READ: 15 things to know about living in Dubai in 2019

Employment and visas

  1. If your contract is coming to an end, you will need to hand over your passport temporarily to your employer who will cancel your residence visa.
  2. Failure to do so could delay your departure or mean you are marked on the immigration system as an absconder.
  3. Request your gratuity payout statement and payment from your employer. The Embassy does not get involved in employment disputes. Please contact the Ministry of Labour and refer to the List of Lawyers.
  4. If you are terminating your employment then you will need to give the required period of notice.
  5. Return medical cards.

Bank accounts, credit cards and loans

  1. Remember to clear all your debts before you leave the UAE. Non-payment of a debt is a criminal offense and could result in arrest and a possible prison sentence. If you have outstanding debts you may not be able to leave the country or you may be stopped and arrested if you try to come back to, or even transit through the UAE.
  2. Keep copies of all documents relating to closed accounts.
  3. Cancel any credit cards, loans and overdrafts with the bank. It can take up to 2 months to complete all the paperwork.
  4. Close any bank accounts if no longer required.
  5. Request a bank clearance letter for your employer.
  6. Leave a forwarding address for any future correspondence.

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