I am a shareholder in a company and am on an investor residence visa issued by Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs (GDRFA). I recently sold my 40 per cent share of the company to one of the shareholders and wrote him a waiver. I also received the value of the sold shares. At present, I have no stake in the company and my residence visa will expire next month. I intend to go back to my home country and will not return to the UAE. However, I need to leave urgently and will not have time to complete the cancellation procedure with the GDRFA. Can I leave Dubai without formally cancelling the visa with the authority?

The questioner may not leave the UAE without formally cancelling the visa. The questioner should first make a sale contract between him and the new purchaser, get the document attested by the Notary Public in the presence of all partners so they can sign the said contract (amendment to the memorandum of association), and then this contract shall be submitted, along with an application to cancel the visa, to GDRFA. The residence visa will then be cancelled. The procedure will not take too long, and it is in the best interest of the questioner to avoid any future liability in case the company faces any problems.

Salary payment

I am the owner of a company in Dubai. Last week, one of my employees filed a complaint against me with the Ministry of Labour claiming that he did not receive his salary for three months. I paid him the claimed three months’ salary, but I did so in cash as at the time he was going on leave and requested that I pay him that way. I lost the paper he signed saying that he received the salary along with the salary for his leave. How can I prove to the labour ministry or the Dubai court that I paid him his 3 months’ salary?

Payment of the employee’s salary may be proved before the court in the following three ways:

1. Declaration by the employee that he received his salary.

2. Evidence from the employer that the employee has received his salary, such as a bank statement.

3. Testimony from the employee under oath in the labour court. If he does so, a judgment will be passed in his favour.

Maintenance fees

I live in Dubai in a rented villa. My rental contract is for a year and the real estate office decided to add a Dh20,000 as a maintenance fee, which was not part of the original rent contract last year. Is this legal as per the Dubai rental committee and do I have to pay it?

As per the clause No 16 of the Dubai rental committee law No 26 for 2007, which mentions that maintenance is at the expense of the landlord unless the contract says that the maintenance is at the expense of the tenant. Therefore, as long as the original rent contract does not mention that the maintenance is at the expense of the tenant then the claim by the real estate office is illegal. Therefore, the questioner may refuse to pay the amount and has the right to renew the contract as per the Dubai rent committee law without any additional payment for the maintenance.

Ask the Law questions are answered by Advocate Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba of Al Shaiba Advocates and Legal Consultants.

— Compiled by Bassam Za’za’, Legal and Court Correspondent