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The British Embassy in the UAE encourages citizens of the UK to settle all their financial affairs and ensure that their employment visas are cancelled before they move out of the UAE.

An Embassy spokesman gave following advice: “Remember to clear all your debts before you leave the UAE.  Non-payment of a debt is a criminal offence 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”.

British citizens – and of course expats from any other nationality living in Dubai, Abu Dhabi – are urged to cancel any credit cards and pay off any overdrafts or loans before they leave the UAE.  It is recommended that this happens at least two months before they finally pack up and move out of the country, as it can take longer than one might expect for the banks to process.  It is recommended to close any unnecessary bank accounts – there have been tales of people’s bank accounts dropping below a minimum balance and incurring monthly charges which then deplete the funds until the account holder owes the bank money.  That bank account with a few Dirhams balance that former expatriates in the UAE didn’t close could become a liability in years to come.

Furthermore, contracts with mobile phones and utilities all need to be cancelled.  Cars should be sold, all traffic fines should be paid and your Salik tag cancelled.

Finally, passports need to be handed over to your employer before you leave Dubai or Abu Dhabi so that your residence visa can be cancelled on time before leaving the country.  Failure to do so could result in being reported to immigration as an absconder. This could affect either the departure of the assignee from the UAE or affect if the expat ever wants to re-enter the UAE in the future, whether as tourist, as an assignee or even when travelling on transit.

Some professions and employers require that you obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct, or a Police Clearance Certificate in the UAE before you start your new job outside the UAE.

Please keep these advises serious before moving out of Dubai or Abu Dhabi. It can happen that while transiting through Dubai in five years’ time you are arrested and put in jail for having an unpaid traffic fine.

Oh yes, and please do remember to pay your international moving bill too!

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