Dubai exit – part one

Well dear readers I haven’t told you officially yet so here goes → we are leaving Dubai. Gulp. Yes. Stu and I have decided to return to our homeland, South Africa, and try our hand at our own venture. After 6 years in the sand we feel ready for a new challenge. We won’t be going back to Jozi (Johannesburg) but instead will make a new home somewhere along the Garden Route. A lovely part of the world indeed. We won’t get into the nitty gritty of why we had to make this call – suffice it to say that our circumstances changed on the employment front (as they can so quickly here) which forced us to evaluate if we wanted to spend a large chunk of our hard-earned savings renewing our lease at the end of June. What with the challenges of losing our sponsorship and potentially going it alone with our own business here we felt the prudent thing was to change direction.

Leaving Dubai

It has been a bittersweet few weeks I must say – I will certainly miss the great new friends I have made here in the UAE, with so many cultures and nationalities thrown into one place we really have been exposed to some lovely people from all over the world. I have also loved how easy it is to travel pretty much anywhere from here, and having the opportunity to save a few bob despite some variable employment experiences over the last few years has allowed us to do that. However I am excited to be returning to the country that will always be home and which is indelibly in my blood. I am excited to be nearer to (old) friends and most of my family, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit to some trepidation about returning to a place with a rather disturbing political situation. I am not looking forward to having to put my old “street smarts” hat back on and locking my car door everywhere I go. Living in Dubai certainly makes you complacent I think. And of course not paying tax (or the obvious kind shall we say) will most certainly be missed. But for all that I am excited about our new adventure and being back in a beautiful place filled with wonderful people.

So anyway before I wax too lyrical let me get to the point. As part of a discussion I had with a friend the other day about the wrapping up of various things here – cancelling services and selling cars – she urged me to put together a “Dubai exit” checklist for those that will follow at some point in the future. Which I have started to do. So here is part one for your enjoyment.

*Bear in mind this is from the point of view of being the wife (i.e. sponsored) staying behind to wrap things up once hubby (the sponsor’er) has departed. The list is in my logical order but that may not be chronological in all cases.

  1. Give notice on your accommodation: if necessary and possible.
  2. Arrange the movers: get quotes, book dates and pay – don’t forget your insurance.
  3. Book your pet’s relocation: get their shots up to date and make sure you have their travel boxes a few weeks beforehand so they get used to them.
    Book your flights.
  4. Get a move-out NOC from your community if necessary and pay the deposit.
  5. Draw up a few NOCs from the main account holder (hubby usually). Do a few blank ones as well – if need be you can manually complete if needed. Keep a few copies of his visa and passport pages handy.
  6. Sort your stuff out: what you are taking, what you are not. Recycle what you don’t need and call “take my junk” for the rest. Use coloured stickers to indicate to the movers what gets packed (green) and what doesn’t (red).
  7. Give notice on your various services: maid, TV, garden service a month before you leave.
  8. Find receipts for things: deposit on gas canisters, water bottles, villa deposit, DEWA deposit and keep them in a folder so they don’t get packed. You will need them.
  9. Sell your car: remember to take off your Salik tag and any community entrance stickers. Get a copy of the new owner’s vehicle registration card.
    Cancel your Salik account on the vehicle (make sure to run your Salik balance down if you can, you don’t get a refund on this).
  10. Cancel the Mpay account link to your vehicle (for the parking charges).
  11. Cancel the insurance on your car (that’s why you need a copy of the new vehicle registration card, and request a pro-rata refund (you paid for the year remember). Request a no-claims letter from your insurer for the period you had the insurance – may be useful if you plan to insure a car elsewhere.
  12. Cancel your mobile phone or change it to pre-paid if you need to keep it for any period.
  13. Cancel your du / Etisalat service – take back the decoder / phone and any remotes for your deposit refund.
  14. Book your move-out clean.
  15. Arrange the final handover with the landlord or agent. Don’t hand over keys / final DEWA bill until refund sorted.
  16. Arrange your final bill with DEWA (1-2 days before you need it) and keep the receipt of the last payment.
  17. Change your postal address on anything you aren’t cancelling.
  18. Arrange medical insurance for where you are going.
  19. Cancel your residence visa.
  20. Find somewhere to live where you are going (and do all of this in reverse)

Don’t forget to work your way through any stocks of wine or liquor you may have before you go – have a few final braais – you can’t ship that stuff so don’t waste it!

Ok I am sure that’s not everything, as I go through the process I will update my list, and update you.

Chat soon.

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