I decided to write this post after a recent development that stemmed from my leaving Dubai. I knew, when I realised that it was time to part ways with the UAE, that I would have to close down all my accounts, such as my bank, electricity and water (DEWA) and Internet (Du) as required by law. Leaving these accounts open could result in a huge fine, should you happen to return to the UAE, even in transit, so it really is important to ensure that all your debts are paid and everything closed down.
It is a tedious process but not a difficult one. In regards to my bank, it did not take too long. I just visited a branch, informed them of my intentions and within 20 minutes my money was taken out and the account closed. One thing that they did point out to me was that I should not have been using my debit card a few days prior, as two merchants had not taken the money yet. Luckily, the bank kept the money in holding and put a note on my account that once the payments had been taken, it was to be terminated. So this is something to bear in mind, do not use your cards for a week prior to cancelling your bank account.
With DEWA the process takes a few days and requires two trips. The first is to ask for your Final Bill (you also need this if you are moving house in Dubai by the way). The request is generated and within two or three days, you are notified by text that your bill is ready for collection. Any outstanding fees will be deducted from your deposit and the balance paid back to you in cash.
Du was a little bit trickier and had I realised what would happen, I would have made proper provision with a friend to finalise it in my absence. When you close your Du account, a bill is generated, your deposit is deducted from the final amount and in my case a difference was paid. For me, that was that. What I did not realise, was that another final bill would be generated that I would have to pay. It was only a few days ago when I received an email asking for money, two months after I left Dubai. I was more than just a bit surprised and had to call them from the UK, which is when I was told that the final bill had been generated a week after I left. This would have been about two weeks after I terminated the account. By the way, they don’t seem to issue a Final Bill the way DEWA do, something else I had not realised. The bill has been settled (less than £40) through a friend (thank heavens for Pay Pal and bank transfers!) and hopefully I won’t have any more demands concerning payment from them ever again. I shouldn’t, I haven’t used their service since February 22nd! The funny thing is that the email threatened to cut off my Internet supply, which I thought strange and left me somewhat bemused, considering they cut it the day I terminated my account!
As I didn’t drive in Dubai, I did not have a license, but if you are moving please remember to cancel your license and pay off any fees as I have heard two stories of people who forgot and were slapped with a hefty fine when they returned three years later for a holiday.
All in all, if you subtract the Du complication, it took me a total of four days to terminate and close all my services.
Photo credit: flightconnection.net