Bidding farewell doesn’t have to be a bitter experience, although there can be quite a lot to sort out before boarding the plane home – from jumping through bureaucratic hoops to tying up legal and financial loose ends.

Here are the right steps to follow so that you can leave the UAE correctly and skip unexpected fines or legal complications down the line.

1. Do not think of doing a runner:

To avoid the hassle and debts, some people may choose to jump on a plane with the intention of never coming back. But this is neither a prudent nor an ethical option as they could be blacklisted from re-entering the country for years to come.

2. Start a year early if you’re looking to sell your property:

Start searching for real estate agents and market prices one year before leaving. Nearer to the move date, you will need to decide other things, such as whether you’re going to sell your furniture or ship it; the same with your car if you own one. You’ll need six weeks to clear your mortgage if you have one, get a no-objection certificate and transfer the title deed to receive your final payment.

3. If you have pets, are they coming with you?

If so, you’ll need to check quarantine laws, organize pet passports, vaccinations and find out export costs. If they’re staying in the UAE, you’ll need to find them a suitable home.

4. If you have kids, give the school notice three months ahead:

Sort out education certificates.

5. Find out how much notice you need to give your employer if you’re leaving your job:

Check your end of service gratuity and benefits.

6. Research the tax implications of moving to another country:

Check what visas you’ll need in the country you’re moving to.

7. Have a live-in maid?

Make sure you give her one month notice. What you need to know about sponsoring a maid

8. Settle debts:

Keep all documentation after paying off your loans and take them with you for a smooth exit. Ensure that you get your post-dated cheques back. Crosscheck utility contracts, loans, credit card bills, mobile and Internet service providers and medical fees with your Internet banking records. Confirm that all standing orders have been canceled, parking fines have been paid and car loans have been settled. Remember that, once paid, it can take up to two weeks for some debts to have officially cleared.

 9. Close accounts:

Shut down all your accounts, particularly bank accounts. Ensure that you have a minimum balance of AED 3,000 to avoid a monthly penalty charge of 25 dirhams, as stipulated by UAE Central Bank. To successfully close your bank account, withdraw or transfer all funds and then visit your branch in person to complete an account closure form. Cancel utilities, including home broadband, mobile services and cable.

10. Carefully consider where you move your money to:

Your destination country will require you to declare the money you’re bringing with you. If you wish to avoid paying unnecessary taxes on this capital, then consider opening an offshore account to which to transfer your balance.

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