Taking the leap and resigning from your job can be a daunting task, especially in the ever-evolving landscape of the UAE.

Whether it’s chasing new horizons or simply wanting a change, our guide demystifies the resignation process, making your transition smooth and worry-free.

Let’s dive in and make things as clear as possible for you!

Steps For Resigning From Your Job In The UAE 

Before you resign from your job in UAE, consider specific aspects and consult a legal professional to avoid legal or financial liabilities and inconvenience.

You may also want to follow a specific process to ensure a smooth process and avoid delays.

These steps may enable you to resign without legal or financial repercussions and delays and ensure that you’ve taken all necessary steps before leaving your job.

When resigning from a job in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it is essential to consider the following:

Read Your Employment Contract Thoroughly

Before you resign from your job, make sure you go through your employment contract thoroughly and understand each clause.

This may help you gain a more profound sense of your terms and conditions and obligations.

Furthermore, it may provide a more transparent stance for the notice period required.

Going through the employment contract may also facilitate you through the resignation process, considering that it may lay down several conditions and steps to be considered.

You may resign through mutual consent or serve the notice period mentioned in your contract.

Your employment contract may also enable you to devise future plans, considering that some companies may prohibit employees from joining competitors for a particular period of time. 

Give A Proper Notice

Generally, employees may be obligated to serve a notice period of 1 to 3 months as a part of the resignation process. This notice is to be handed over in writing to the employer.

The UAE labor law specifies a notice period of 30 to 90 days, while failure to do so may result in financial or legal issues.

Such financial liabilities include paying the salary for the notice period you fail to serve.

Article 43(3) of the recent UAE Labor Law clearly states that the party that fails to comply with the set notice period is liable to pay the other party compensation equivalent to the employee’s salary

Avoid Absconding

Absconding refers to departing without formal notice to the firm or in a sudden and secretive way.

Absconding is considered a punishable act in UAE; in this case, an individual may be considered an absconder if they do not report to their job for more than a week without informing the organization.

This, in turn, may result in a labor ban on that particular individual. 

Plan Your Exit Strategy 

Before resigning, plan your exit strategy thoroughly.

It is crucial to go over your next steps, which include finding a new job or discussing potential opportunities with your employer.

You may want to schedule a meeting with your employer to discuss all possibilities and conditions accordingly. This may also help clear away any concerns.

One important aspect is that you don’t require your employer’s permission to resign and must make the decision entirely on your own.

They may thus not be able to object if you rightfully hand in a formal resignation and serve the required notice period. You may also want to plan your financial needs before resigning.

This includes any pending reimbursements or outstanding debts. You may also want to collect any end-of-service benefits that are rightfully owed to you.

Furthermore, individuals may require legal consultation before resigning, considering that resigning from specific jobs may have legal implications.

Prepare For A Counter-Offer

If you are a valuable asset to the firm, they may want to retain you. To do this, the firm may negotiate new and improved employment terms with you.

These terms may include an improved salary, benefits, or even a better position. Therefore, consider such offers with an open mind to ensure that you make the best decision regarding your career. 

Prepare A Formal Resignation Letter 

A resignation letter is a formal document that states your intention to leave your current job.

It should be written in a professional and courteous manner and delivered to your employer in person.

You may opt for one of several methods to hand in a resignation letter; this includes handing it in physically or submitting it via email.

This letter must, however, clearly state your intentions to leave the firm and mention accurate dates for your resignation. 

Check out our article on how to make a resignation letter in the UAE!

Maintain Professional Communication

Keep your communication with your employer professional throughout the process, as a good reference from your previous employer can be valuable in the future.

You must therefore maintain a professional attitude, both before and after resigning, as well as during your notice period. This may help avoid any legal implications and ill repute. 

Get Your Work Visa Cancelled 

How To Resign In UAE 1

If you are a foreign national, you must get your work visa canceled before leaving the country.

To cancel your work visa while resigning in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), you will need to follow these steps:

  • Submit your resignation letter to your employer: This should be done in writing and should be given to your employer at least 30 days in advance, as per UAE labor laws.
  • Return your Emirates ID card: Your employer is responsible for canceling your work visa, so you will need to return your Emirates ID card to them for the process to begin.
  • Obtain a clearance certificate: Your employer will need to issue you a certificate indicating that you have fulfilled all your obligations to the company and that there are no outstanding issues or disputes.
  • Exit permit: Once you have completed the above steps, your employer will apply for an exit permit on your behalf, which will be issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE).
  • Depart the UAE: Once you have received the exit permit, you will have 60 days to leave the UAE.

It’s important to note that canceling a work visa can take several weeks, so you should plan accordingly. 

Return Company Property 

Before leaving your job, return any company property, such as keys, equipment, or documents, to your employer.

If you are in possession of any intellectual property that belongs to the firm, be sure to return that before leaving the organization.

In this case, handing over certain documents, projects or clients may take longer.

Therefore you may need to plan accordingly. You may also want to settle any outstanding debts or reimbursements. 

Collect Pending Documents From The Organization 

You can collect all pending documents, such as your salary slips, letter of employment experience letter, etc., from your employer.

These may also include a release letter which confirms that you have successfully fulfilled all obligations towards the organization and that they hold no further claims against you.

Such documents may facilitate future employment and protect you from future legal or financial liabilities.

Calculate And Collect Your End-Of-Service Benefits 

Gratuity or end-of-service benefits are monetary or compensation provided to employees at the end of their employment.

This is calculated based on the period or years of service and must be calculated and collected.

However, you may not be entitled to these benefits if you’ve served for a year or less.

Employees with more than a year of experience in that particular firm or with an open-ended employment contract may, on the other hand, be eligible for these benefits.

Remain In Touch 

Once you resign on good terms, you may want to remain in touch with your previous employer or colleagues, not only to help them out and maintain good relations but also because contacts may be the most effective form of intellectual capital.

Furthermore, this also enables you to stay updated about potential future opportunities. 

However, if you do not follow the terms and conditions as laid down in your contract, you may be liable for legal or financial issues, considering that the employer may claim compensation.

Therefore individuals must follow a set resignation process as laid down by the labor laws and their contracts.

Essential Aspects Of Resignation In The UAE 

Despite following the steps laid down above, you may need to take into consideration certain legal aspects. These may include the penalty for staying after your grace period after visa cancellation.

Here are some of the most crucial aspects to the resignation process and also some of the most frequently asked questions.

Resigning During Probation Periods In The UAE

Employees may also resign during their probation. However, Article 9 of the Federal Decree Law 2021 No. 33 clearly states that if a foreign worker wishes to terminate their employment during their probation period to leave the country, they must make their intention clear to the employer 14 days after, or as mentioned in the contract.

Furthermore, if the individual intends to return within three months through a new work permit, the employer may be required to pay compensation unless both parties reach a mutual decision.

Moreover, if either employer or employee contradicts the terms of this article and ends the contract, they will be liable to pay compensation equivalent to the worker’s salary for the remainder of the notice period to the party being wronged

Tips For Resigning From Your Job

Resigning from your job is subject to several aspects. Consider the notice period you are liable to serve. Consider whether it’s the right time to resign.

Furthermore, schedule a meeting with your employer to discuss potential opportunities. You may then complete all pending tasks, return company property, and submit a resignation letter

Tips For Writing Your Resignation Letter 

You must mention your last working day in the letter and the reason for your departure.

Furthermore, one may adopt a courteous and professional tone in the resignation letter and thank the firm for the opportunity.

It would help if you also mentioned your name and position at the end of the letter. These tips enable individuals to write a professional resignation letter and avoid miscommunication.

Make sure to check out our article on how to write a resignation letter in the UAE!

Staying In UAE After The Resignation 

You may not be able to remain in the UAE after the resignation or termination of your contract.

This is due to the fact that the employer may need to cancel your work permit as per article 7(3) of cabinet resolution no. 1 of 2022.

The visas of your dependents must also be canceled upon termination following the visa cancelation process.

You may, however, remain in the country for 30 days after your visa has been canceled.

If, however, you find a new job, you may want to wait for your employer to reapply for your work visa and your family’s. This process, however, is subject to acceptance by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs. 

Penalties For Overstaying Your Grace Period

Individuals who overstay after their grace period are liable to pay the penalty to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs.

This is clearly stated by Article 11 of the immigration law.

If an individual’s visa is canceled in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and stays in the country past the grace period provided, they will be considered illegal.

The fines for overstaying in the UAE can vary, but they are generally relatively high and may increase the longer an individual stays illegally.

In addition to fines, an individual who has overstayed their visa may also be arrested and imprisoned, depending on the circumstances.

Once their penalty is served, they will also have a ban placed on them from entering the UAE for a certain period of time.

The duration of the ban can vary depending on the length of time the individual overstayed their visa and other factors.

It is important to note that these penalties can be severe, so it is crucial for individuals to ensure that their visa status is valid at all times and to leave the country before their visa expires or is canceled.

Termination Without Notice In The UAE

Article 44 of the Federal Decree Law No. (33) of 2021 clearly states that employers possess the right and authority to terminate employees or end their contracts as well as cancel their work visas without notice if the employee breaches any of the terms of the contract.

The employee may, however, receive 30 days to leave the country after the visa has been canceled. 

The Minimum Notice Period In The UAE

Typically the notice period required in UAE extends over 30 days.

However, this may differ based on the employees’ contract and may even vary between firms.

Employees must therefore refer to their contract to gain an insight into the resignation process as well as the notice period required.

Gaining Support For Unfair Dismissal In The UAE 

Employees dismissed unfairly may file a complaint against the firm to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

The ministry, in this case, may deal with such issues amicably and resolve the case. However, in some cases, a court settlement may be required.

Resolutions may involve the employer paying compensation to the employee.

It is important to note that specific procedures and time frames must be followed when filing a complaint with the MOHRE, so it is advisable to seek the advice of a lawyer or legal advisor familiar with UAE labor laws.

Applying For A New Work Visa After Resigning 

In the United Arab Emirates, if an individual resigns from their job, they will need to apply for a new work visa in order to continue working in the country.

The process for obtaining a new work visa will depend on the individual’s specific situation and the rules and regulations of the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE).

Typically, the process for obtaining a new work visa after resigning in the UAE involves the following steps:

  • Finding a new employer who is willing to sponsor the individual for a work visa.
  • The new employer will need to apply for a new work permit with the MOHRE.
  • The new employer will then need to submit the required documents, such as the individual’s passport and education and work experience certificates, to the MOHRE.
  • After the new employer’s application is approved, the individual will be issued a new entry permit, which will allow them to enter the UAE and start working for the new employer.

It is important to note that the application process and the requirements for obtaining a new work visa can change depending on the rules and regulations of the MOHRE, so it is advisable to seek the advice of a lawyer or legal advisor familiar with UAE labor laws before starting the process.


In the end, leaving a job in the UAE is not just about saying goodbye.

It’s about maintaining relationships, capitalizing on your network, and preparing for new adventures.

Remember, a well-executed resignation can open doors to future opportunities.

However, ensure that you adhere to your contract to avoid any legal or financial hiccups.

Happy resigning!

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