x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Leaving your home

Housing can be a tricky situation. If the lease is under the name of your company (or accommodation is provided by the employer), you may need to vacate the property just days after visa cancellation.

This time period will vary depending on your contract, and whether you have good relations with the company. Therefore, it is a smart move to determine where you stand, as you may need to make alternative housing arrangements before leaving the country.

There are two loose ends you must tie up regarding housing. The first: utilities. At least a week before flying out, plan to visit DEWA or ADDC – each have several locations in their respective emirate – to pay your bill and receive a utilities clearance certificate.

Be sure to take your passport along, as well as your DEWA or ADDC reference number, which can be found on the utility meter at home. The deposit you made when you first opened the account will be returned to you, after being used to pay off any remaining balance on the bill. But before acquiring your final clearance, DEWA and ADDC will send out a representative to read your meter and clear up any remaining fees; this typically takes a few days.

The second chore is your “media” – telephone, TV and internet. If you have a landline, take a trip to Etisalat, get your telephone disconnected, pay the final bill and receive a clearance certificate. Home internet gets more complicated: you may need to wait for a technician to come to your flat to physically disconnect you, which will take a few days. Satellite subscription services, such as Orbit Showtime or ART, will also require you to wait for a technician, or even take your decoder box to a retail location.

Note that prepaid subscriptions, such as Wasel with Etisalat, do not need to be cancelled. However, any kind of mobile subscription, such as on your iPhone or Blackberry, must be cancelled in person at your local etisalat or du office. Finally, if you found your own apartment, but your company paid the rent, you must provide a maintenance clearance from the owner of your apartment, confirming that everything is in good shape for the next tenant.