Things you need to do before leaving the Middle East

For most expats in the Middle East, there comes a point at which it’s time to leave. This for some comes after only a few months for others a few decades. Whatever your reasoning for swapping the desert for something new, we’re here to help you create your bulletproof exit strategy.

Clear your liabilities

First and foremost you need to ensure any debts you have are cleared. Non-payment of debt is a criminal offence in Middle Eastern nations and can lead to arrest and prosecution. You may be stopped at the airport if you attempt to exit a country and abandon your debt. If you do leave a country, the company you have a debt with may have the right to sell your debt to a third party in another country who can chase you legally.

Cancel your visa

When you decide to leave the UAE and most other popular Middle Eastern expat nations you should inform your employer who is sponsoring your visa. You will in most cases be required to hand over your passport for a short period while the cancellation of your residency is processed. Foregoing this responsibility could delay your departure, you may also be marked as an absconder by the immigration department complicating any return in future for residency, transit or vacation.

Receive your gratuity

Depending on your employment contract you may be owed a gratuity payment at the end of your service. In order to make sure you get what you are owed you should give your employer statutory notice. Speak with your companies HR department for more information this matter.

Close your bank account

Prior to departure make sure you close all of the bank accounts you no longer intend to use. To do this you will normally be required to go into the branch and complete the account closure paperwork. You can often chose to withdraw the remainder of your bank account into cash or transfer it into another global account you hold.

Close contracts

You may have a number of bills including your phone, WIFI, TV, water, electricity, air conditioning. You must make sure you close any accounts that you have left to run. To do this contact the customer services department of the service provider and settle a final bill to ensure you have no payments left unsettled.

End your tenancy

Read your tenancy as long before your departure as possible, make sure that you are aware of any clauses which could require you to give a number of months’ notice. If it turns out you need to give more notice than you have time to departure, it might be easier to assist your landlord in finding a new tenant on sites such as Dubbizle or Facebook groups.

Download our complimentary UK repatriation guide.

 

Photo by Saffu on Unsplash

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