x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Deciding when to leave

If you have children, it makes the most sense to move three to six weeks before your destination country’s school year starts (and bachelors might want to avoid another summer here).

But the vagaries of contract employment in the UAE can make choosing when to go difficult.

Leaving before the end of your contract, for instance, could leave you owing your sponsor for some benefits, such as previously paid air tickets or bonuses.

Furthermore, if your company paid the cheque on your flat, you will be responsible for the balance if you leave before the end of that contract. Because your housing and employment terms may end at different times, it becomes an exercise in damage control to figure out how to owe less if you had to choose.

You can mitigate some of these problems by asking your company and your landlord about finding a replacement tenant. Note that this isn’t a right, especially if your landlord has banned this in your housing contract.

Never expect to sever all your ties with your sponsor in just a day or two. Even the most ambitious departure plan will take at least a couple of weeks to implement. And it’s always important to plan for the possibility that your end-of service benefits won’t come when you expect them, especially if your post-resignation relationship with your employer is less than cordial. If you’re worried about your flight home, it might be beneficial to plan your departure at off-peak travel times.

Another transport consideration is your “exotic cargo” – different destinations have different rules for handling pets, for instance. Most airlines won’t ship your best friends when the temperature either in the emirates or at your destination airport rises over a certain comfort level. Finally, consider the tax liability at your destination. If you move to your new country in the middle of a tax year, you may be responsible for taxes on all of your income that year – even what you’ve earned in the UAE.

It may not be easy to leave at the “perfect” time, but sacrificing small benefits here or there can help avoid major liabilities later.