UAE: How to collect end-of-service benefits after leaving the Emirates

The reader wants to know if the bank will freeze the account after cancellation of the residency visa

by

Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 2 Jun 2024, 10:10 AM

Last updated: Sun 2 Jun 2024, 10:32 PM

Question: I am leaving the UAE for good but I have not closed my salary account as I am travelling home before receiving my full and final settlement. I will not be in UAE when the company transfers the amount. Would this be a problem? Is it legal, as my residency visa will be cancelled? Will they freeze my account?

Answer: In the UAE, an employer needs to pay the end-of-service benefits of an employee within 14 (fourteen) days of his or her last working day.


Article 53 of the Federal Decree Law No 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations, states, “The employer shall pay the employee within (14) fourteen dates after the expiry of the contract, all his salary and other entitlements provided for in this Decree-Law and its implementing resolutions, the contract or the establishment bylaws.”

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Based on the provided information and the applicable regulations in the UAE, it appears that leaving the country after the cancellation of your residency visa should not directly result in the freezing of your salary account. However, if an individual leaves the UAE and has no intentions to come back to UAE on residency, it is advised to close the bank account(s) that an individual holds in the UAE.

An individual may close his or her bank account in the UAE as laid down in Article 9(b) of the UAE Central Bank Regulation No. 29/2011 dated 23rd February 2011 on Regulations Regarding Bank Loans & Other Services Offered to Individual Customers, which states, “Commercial banks may open all types of accounts for their retail customers, but in such cases, they must abide by the standard agreement mentioned under Article (12) of these Regulations. In case a customer requests the closing of the account and termination of the business relationship with the bank, the bank should do that without imposing a penalty if the account opening date goes back more than one year. In all cases, an account must be closed, and an appropriate certificate must be issued within, maximum, seven days (7) from the date of submission of the application.”

Additionally, an individual’s bank account may be listed ‘dormant account’ in the UAE in accordance with UAE Central Bank Circular No.1/2020 dated 15/1/2020 on Dormant Accounts (the ‘UAE Dormant Bank Account Regulations’). If an individual’s bank account in the UAE is not operational for three (3) years, then such an account may be termed a dormant bank account by the bank. This is in accordance with Article 2 (1) (1) of the UAE Dormant Bank Account Regulations, which states, “Criteria for Determining Dormant Accounts and unclaimed Balances:

An individual/corporate savings or call or current account where there have been no transactions (withdrawals or deposits) or non-financial actions (service requests, due diligence, particulars, update, etc) for a period of 3 years from the date of the last transaction on the account, other than transactions

initiated by the bank (such as interest and charges posted by the system or manually), and there has been no communication from the customer (whether written or electronic).”

Based on the aforementioned provisions of law, you may follow up with your previous employer to pay your end of service benefits at the earliest to your UAE bank account. Once the end-of-service benefits are credited to your bank account (salary account) and withdrawn by you, you may close the bank account (salary account) and obtain a bank account closure letter from the bank.

Applicable Law:

- Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations

- UAE Central Bank Circular No.1/2020 dated 15/1/2020 on Dormant Accounts

- UAE Central Bank Regulation No. 29/2011 dated 23rd February 2011 on Regulations Regarding Bank Loans & Other Services Offered to Individual Customers

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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