Leaving Dubai? Here’s what you need to do

If you’re thinking of leaving on a jet plane, it’s not as easy as just packing up. Here’s what you need to know when you just have to go.

With a high expat population of nearly 90 per cent, there’s no doubt that life in the UAE can be transient.

But if you’re thinking of leaving us for new climes – and we’re sorry to see you go – then take note, because there’s a lot more to leaving Dubai than just booking a plane ticket and packing your bags.

Movers and shakers

leaving Dubai passport stamps

If you’re moving an entire household, then shipping your belongings is a priority.

First, you’ll need to decide if you’re shipping items by land, air or sea. Prices will vary depending on how much you have and their delivery time, so be sure to shop according to your needs.

Price comparison sites such as ServiceMarket.com can help you to pick the option that’s best for you from multiple established companies according to how much you will ship and method of transport.

If you’re shipping valuable items, consider applying for insurance on the goods – it only takes a little bump and a precious family heirloom could be lost forever.

If you’re not planning to take your furniture with you, selling or donating your items can be a good option.

Online marketplace Dubizzle.com is a great way to earn extra cash, while if you’ve got unsellable items, Take My Junk UAE can help you out.

Be accounted for

leaving Dubai bank notes

Closing your accounts is a key step to moving on, but filling out all that paperwork can take some time, so be sure to factor that in and keep your papers in order.

It’s illegal to leave the country with debts in your name, so clearing off any credit cards, loans or overdrafts with the bank before you go is essential, as well as any traffic fines or other outstanding payments you may have incurred.

Don’t forget to empty and close your bank accounts, too – it can end up costing you money if you don’t maintain a minimum balance.

Remember that it’s not just about your assets, though; don’t forget to pay off and close accounts for your household expenses, including water, electricity, internet and any other utilities.

Keep all paperwork with you for records after closing your accounts.

Don’t forget Fluffy

dog-in-suitcase leaving Dubai

If you’ve got a pet, then forward planning is key to ensure they can travel with you.

Depending on where you’re moving, you’ll need to make sure your pet passport and all vaccinations are up to date.

Some destinations demand that your pet be vaccinated for rabies at least six months prior to export as well as a blood test 30 days after the initial injection, so be sure to check the requirements well in advance.

When it’s time to go, pet relocation services can make the process easier by ensuring your furry buddy has all the paperwork and clearance required.

Dubai Kennels and Cattery offers this service, as well as Snoopy Pets.

Paper trail

leaving Dubai passports

Once you’ve completed all your arrangements, you’ll need to cancel your visa.

Make sure to obtain any medical records required prior to doing so, as well as any official documents you may need on your onward journey.

After giving notice to your employer, you’ll need to hand in your passport along with your Emirates ID in order for your visa to be cancelled.

Once the process is complete, you’ll have 30 days to leave for your new life.

Don’t forget to…

• Check your accommodation contract for the notice period and tell your landlord you’re leaving.

• Notify your child’s school and arrange for school reports or transfer certificates.

• Get any appropriate jabs or medication while you still have health insurance.

• Weigh up your options for automobile shipping if you’re taking your car.

Useful contacts


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