Dubai: Moving out of the UAE requires detailed planning and a lot of time, so ensure you have snipped all the loose ends and do not have any legal liabilities when you are planning to relocate.
From cancelling your bank account to disconnecting services, these are all the things you need to do when you plan to relocate.
Cancelling your tenancy contract
If you are renting an apartment, make sure you plan your move around the time your lease ends. It is also required to inform your landlord in writing 90 days in advance that you will not be renewing your contract. If you break your lease early, you will need to pay at least a few months’ rent, depending on the clause in your tenancy contract. Speak to your landlord to ensure the contract ends in an amicable way.
Make sure you get back your security deposit. This will be done after the landlord or a company staff inspects the house for any damage. So, you need to ensure that you fix any aspects of the house you might have changed while living in it. If you have made any structural changes to the house, you may have to forfeit the security deposit.
Once you have informed the landlord and the lease has ended, make sure you take back any remaining rent cheques that you may have given the landlord.
To make sure the agency has cancelled the Ejari, or tenancy registration, ask the agency for a screenshot showing that your contract has been taken off the system.
Selling your car
Follow these simple steps when you plan to sell your car.
1. Take good pictures
If there is one thing you need to do to get a good price for your vehicle it is this. This means cleaning your car thoroughly. Give it to a nearby auto service for a professional job and take pictures during daylight. The lighting is best when pictures are taken during the ‘golden hour’ – the time shortly before sunset or after sunrise. That is when the light is softer and more diluted, providing the best setup for good pictures.
2. Specifications are key
You can ask for a better price for your car if you bought it brand new and have a full service history. Also, provide details about the car like the engine power, whether it is a mid-options model or a full-options one. A well-maintained car can easily get a good price in the UAE’s car market.
There are several platforms that you can post your car’s pictures. Online ad markets, like www.getthat.com, let sellers post ads for no cost. You can also share the details on your social media channels or visit a used car market in Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi or Ajman. If you have only driven the car for a few years and bought it from an authorised dealer, approach their pre-owned cars department.
4. Leave some time for the sale
If you leave this part of the relocation to the last minute, you are bound to accept any offer you get. Give yourself a month at least to be able to say ‘no’ to the bad offers and wait for the best price.
5. Clear the dues
Apart from the car loan, you will need to make any payments related to Salik or road and traffic fines before you can transfer the car ownership.
6. Making the sale
Once you have found a buyer, you might need to ask for some of the payment in advance to clear a loan, if the vehicle is mortgaged. If not, visit the nearest RTA centre, Tasjeel or Al Shamil with your passport, Emirates ID, vehicle registration and clearance letter from the bank (if applicable). Make sure you and the buyer is present with the money as well, along with his or her passport and Emirates ID.
The transfer of ownership is simple and straightforward if you have your documents in order.
For more tips on how to sell your car, check out our article here.
Selling your furniture
You will need to decide on which pieces of furniture you wish to keep, which you would like to sell or which you would like to give away or donate.
If you want to keep the furniture, speak to a mover and packer to find out how much it will cost to ship the item. For selling, there are a few places that you can advertise:
2. Online forums – online marketplaces or social media platforms are a great place to find potential buyers.
3. Around your building – speak to the security team and find out if you can leave flyers for interested buyers to visit your home to look at the furniture. Make sure you mention the time at which you can be contacted clearly on the flyer so that you do not have unexpected visitors at odd hours.
If you wish to sell the furniture in bulk, quickly, speak to second-hand furniture shops. They will visit your home and give you an estimate for all the furniture, but be prepared to haggle as they try to offer the lowest price to maximise profits. There are several second-hand furniture shops in Dubai’s Karama area, Sharjah’s Rolla area or Abu Dhabi’s Musaffah area.
These processes take some time so it is best to start as early as possible to make sure you get the best price for your assets in the UAE. When you are closer to your leaving date, start with the remaining processes.
Closing your bank account
Closing your bank account and any financial liabilities you might have is perhaps one of the most important parts of moving out of a country. Speak to your bank at least three or four months in advance to find out how long they take to issue a no-liability letter. Depending on the time provided, plan your finances so that you have a clearance letter when you are leaving the UAE.
1. Clear all the amount in your bank account, either by withdrawing it at the teller or transferring it to another bank account that will remain active.
2. Clear all your bank loans and credit card payments. Request for a no liability letter, as proof that you have no active liabilities with the bank. Speak to your bank at least three months in advance to find out how long they take to issue a no-liability letter. Depending on the time provided, plan your finances so that you have a clearance letter when you are leaving the UAE.
3. Visit a branch of your bank and request for the ‘account closing’ form. You will need to carry your passport and Emirates ID with you.
4. Processing account closure can take anywhere between one day to a week, depending on whether you have other contracts with a bank like a loan or credit card.
A statement from Emirates NBD provided the following advice on closing accounts:
"Emirates NBD customers wishing to close an account will need to visit the nearest bank branch to submit an account closure request. The account closure will be carried out within two working days.
"Prior to submitting the closure request, customers should ensure that any cheques they have issued have been recalled. As best practice, customers are encouraged to hand over any unused cheques and debit cards to bank staff to make sure these are destroyed. In case of any cheque issued from the account being presented for clearing after closure, the cheque will be returned citing account closed.
"Customers who have their salary being transferred to the account for availing a personal loan with the bank would need to keep their account open till the loan is repaid fully. If any direct debit or standing instructions have been set up on the account, customers should take care to make alternate arrangements before carrying out the closure."
You cannot close an account until you have settled any loan you may have on it.
Cancelling your electricity and water connection
In Abu Dhabi, once you have activated your online account, you simply need to request for closing of account. Give Abu Dhabi Distribution Company ADDC two days’ notice period to close the account.
Once the meter readings are checked by an ADDC technician, you will get your deposit back either by it being deposited into your bank account (you will need to provide the IBAN number), or it can be transferred to another ADDC property account or donated to Emirates Red Crescent.
Pay your final bill and you will receive your ‘account closing’ letter. For online requests, the account closing letter will be sent by email or you can download it at any time from addc.ae. You can also collect it from one of the ADDC branches
For more information, you can call ADDC on 800 2332
In Dubai, if you have an online account with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), you can request for the cancellation through their website, dewa.ae, or by calling on their customer service number 04 601 9999.
When you apply for a cancellation of the connection, you will receive the security deposit either to your bank account or through a Western Union branch, if you want to receive the refund in cash. If you apply for the disconnection at any of the customer happiness centres, you can come back to the happiness centre once the cancellation has been processed to get the refund in cash.
De-activation charges for Dewa:
- Dh100 for disconnecting electricity and water (small meters).
- Dh300 for disconnecting Electricity and water meters (large meters).
- Dh10 for knowledge fee.
- Dh10 for innovation fee.
Final bill will be processed within 24 hours and you will receive your final bill at your registered email ID.
In Sharjah, it takes around three working days for regular requests. Urgent requests can be processed in one working day.
You will need to provide the following documents to Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (Sewa):
- Original Clearance Certificate from Sharjah Municipality.
- Original Deposit Payment Receipt.
- Copy of your Emirates ID.
This is the process to follow:
- Visit a Sewa branch and submit the request for closing of account to the ‘Disconnection & Re-Connection’ section.
- The Disconnection & Re-Connection Unit will refer the transaction to the Technical team to send the concerned technician to get the last readings from your meter. If there is an excessive usage, it could get deducted from your deposit.
- Issuing of clearance letter after you have paid any amount due.
- Normal requests – No payment required
- Urgent requests - Dh200
- Attested copy of Ownership Certificate / Lease Contract (if the application is submitted at the Center)
- Attested copy of the commercial license (in case of commercial or industrial accounts) (if the application is submitted at the Center)
- Copy of the Emirates ID / personal identification document
If applying online, on the home page, click on ‘Services’ and then on ‘eServices’ and select ‘Application for Clearance Certificate’.
Once you have made the request, a technician will be sent to get the meter readings. You will then need to pay the final bill. Once you have made the necessary payments, you will receive a clearance letter from Fewa.
You can find details of the cancellation process here or call 8003392.
- If done online: No fees applicable
- If done at a branch: Dh50 service fees
- Cancelling your landline, internet and mobile phone connections
To cancel your Etisalat or du connection you can visit any of the service centres in the UAE, with your Emirates ID or call 101 for Etisalat or 155 for du.
You would need to provide your Emirates ID if you visit a business centre or give your Emirates ID number if you apply for it over the phone. They might ask you for verification details like your last bill and the method of payment.
If you terminate your contract early, you would need to pay an early termination fee, calculated according to how much time you have left on your contract.
Etisalat now has plans that you can pay a little extra for which have no early termination penalties, referred to as the Freedom plans. If you have registered for such a plan, you would not need to pay any additional fee for early termination of contract.
It is best to arrange for alternative telephone numbers and accomodation for the last week or few days of your stay in the UAE. At times like these, you could either speak to family and friends to find out if you can move in for a few days or rent a hotel apartment while you get your affairs in order.
By following these steps you can make sure that your move out of the UAE is as smooth as possible.