Step-by-Step Guide: How to Close All Your Accounts before Leaving the UAE

Leaving the UAE can be a complicated process, especially when it comes to properly closing all of your accounts. As an expat, you likely have a variety of financial, utility, subscription, and other accounts that need to be settled before your departure.

This step-by-step guide will provide clear instructions on how to thoroughly close out all of your accounts, notify relevant authorities, collect documentation, and finalize your move from the UAE. Following proper protocols can ensure you avoid future hassles or legal issues.

Definition of “Closing All Accounts before Leaving the UAE”

“Closing all accounts before leaving the UAE” refers to the process of officially shutting down or deactivating any financial, service, or membership accounts prior to moving away from the United Arab Emirates, either to return to your home country or relocate elsewhere.

This includes bank accounts, phone/internet accounts, utility accounts, subscriptions, club memberships, or any other account linked to an individual. The accounts must be properly closed out through official channels and confirmed as deactivated by the service providers.

Importance of Properly Closing Accounts

There are several key reasons why properly closing out all accounts before leaving the UAE is critical:

  • Avoids accruing debt or fees on inactive accounts
  • Cancels automatic payments or withdrawals set up on accounts
  • Releases individual from legal financial obligations or commitments
  • Cuts ties with country to simplify future returns or visits
  • Fulfills visa and immigration requirements for departure
  • Creates comprehensive records and paper trail
  • Overall, account closure provides financial and legal protection and minimizes future complications.

Understanding the Process of Closing Accounts

While the specifics will vary between different types of accounts, there is a general process for closing accounts that applies across the board:

Researching all accounts

As a first step, you will need to thoroughly research and compile a list of every individual account you hold – bank accounts, loans, credit cards, phone/internet plans, DEWA, housing leases, club memberships, subscriptions, etc. Understanding the full landscape is essential.

Review recent statements and records to ensure no accounts are overlooked. Document account numbers, providers, contacts, and any other relevant details.

Contacting financial institutions and service providers

Once you have a comprehensive list, begin contacting the necessary financial institutions and service providers. Notify them of your intent to close accounts due to moving abroad. Ask for specifics on their account closure process and any requirements.

Some common requirements when closing accounts are submitting copies of visas/emirates IDs, passport copies, filling out account closure forms, etc. Ensure you obtain and complete all necessary documentation.

Settling any outstanding balances

Before closing an account, all outstanding fees, bills, debts, or obligations linked to it must be fully settled. This could involve making final payments on loans, paying utility bills, clearing state fees from government entities, and more.

Confirm any auto-payments or transfers set up on accounts are cancelled as well. Accounts usually cannot be closed until brought to a $0 balance.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Closing Different Types of Accounts

While the process for closing accounts generally follows the same overall steps, the specifics involved per account type vary significantly. Here are detailed instructions for closing some of the most common accounts for UAE expats:

Bank Accounts

Closing a standard bank account usually involves visiting your bank branch in person and submitting an account closure request. Exact protocols depend on your bank and account type.

1. Notify bank of your relocation and intent to close

2. Pay any unpaid bills associated with account

3. Withdraw remaining funds and transfer/deposit elsewhere

4. Complete account closure request form

5. Submit along with visa copies, Emirates ID, passport

6. Obtain final account statement showing $0 balance

7. Receive confirmation letter of account closure

Be aware that additional steps may be required for more complex accounts like loans or fixed deposits.

Ensuring Legal and Administrative Closure

Beyond just contacting individual providers, you must also take additional steps to finalize account closures legally and administratively:

Notifying Relevant Authorities

You will need to notify certain government entities and authorities about your imminent departure and account closures, such as:

  • Immigration – Cancel residency visa
  • Tax authority – Settle any tax dues
  • Municipal authority – Update residence status
  • Vehicle authority – Transfer vehicle ownership

Comply with any protocols they mandate for individuals moving abroad and closing out accounts.

Collecting Necessary Documentation

Throughout the account closure process, be sure to collect documentation showing confirmation of closure for every account. This includes:

  • Account statements showing $0 balances
  • Formal letters confirming termination of services
  • Tax clearance certificates
  • Immigration records cancelling residency
  • Receipts for returned equipment

Keep both digital and physical copies of all confirmation documents. This provides proof of closure and can prevent future legal or financial issues.

Seeking Professional Advice if Needed

Closing all accounts properly while preparing to leave the country involves tackling a complex array of financial, legal, and administrative tasks. Seeking assistance can be wise to ensure full compliance.

Consult with your company’s HR department, a relocation specialist, an accountant, or even a legal expert. They can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation.

You may also consider authorizing a specialized power of attorney to handle account closures on your behalf if you will be out of country.

Finalizing Departure

After closing all accounts, a few final steps will help finalize your move from the UAE:

Double-checking Closure Status

Prior to your flight out, double check the status of all your closed accounts. Confirm once more that they show as deactivated in provider systems and documentation is complete.

This provides peace of mind that loose ends will not unravel after leaving the country.

Securing Confirmation Documents

Have copies of all account closure confirmation letters and documents securely on-hand (both digital and physical). This will be important to facilitate any issues with immigration, tax, or financial authorities regarding your past UAE residence.

Maintaining Records for Future Reference

Keep permanent records of all account closure confirmation documents along with past statements and bills. Save an extra set with family or advisors as well.

If any issues later emerge regarding your financial or legal ties to the UAE, comprehensive records will be vital to resolve them swiftly.


Closing all accounts thoroughly before departing the UAE can seem like an overwhelming process – but following this step-by-step guide simplifies the task. Carefully researching accounts, settling balances, contacting providers, securing documentation, and confirming closure will allow for a smooth exit from the country. While time-consuming, properly shutting financial and service accounts eliminates legal risks or financial surprises down the road. Taking advantage of assistance from HR, advisors, or attorneys can also ease the process. By comprehensively closing out all binding accounts and ties, expats can securely launch into their next chapter abroad with confidence and peace of mind.

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