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Nation Home > Legal View
Passport is a personal property

Compiled by Ahmed Shaaban / 11 June 2012

Passport is a personal property


As far as I know, my passport is a personal property. Neither the company nor the employer — private or government — is entitled to hold it back under any circumstance. However, my company insists on holding it claiming it is ‘company policy’. Is this legal? What should I do?


Holding a passport without the consent of its holder is not legal. In such cases, the passport holder can approach the nearest police station, lodge a claim against the company and the police should act quickly and return his passport to him. Or otherwise, you can file an urgent case in the court claiming the return of your passport.



No ban while changing jobs, provided ...

 I will be completing six years in a private company here. I would like to join another company. Will I be liable to a labour ban?

There is no ban on changing a job. However, for the Ministry of Labour to accept your application, you have to meet the conditions mentioned in the ministerial decision number 826/2005 article 2 and relevant to your case, which are:

  • Have a valid visa.
  • Have a valid labour card.
  • The new job matches your experience and qualifications.
  • The approval of both the existing and new employers.



Emirates ID

 I have recently renewed my Emirates ID. As far as I know, the company or employer must pay the charges of issuing or renewing such ID. However, my company refused to pay any money. Is this right? What should I do? 

Generally speaking, any costs incurred by the employee to meet the country’s regulations in order to obtain a visa should be borne by the employer. Additionally, the practice in UAE courts is that the employee is not responsible of paying any kind of fees or charges that are required to legitimise his stay within the UAE.

Loan repayment

 I lent Dh5,300 to a lady and took no receipt in writing. I only have SMS messages with sentences like ‘thanks for your help’, ‘I will return the rest when I get my ticket money during payday’, and ‘Can you please find me Dh2,800 more even with interest as the hospital requires cash.’ I went to two police stations, but they advised me to go to court. During the arbitration meeting, the lady plainly refused stating that all the messages I received were reverted from my side.

I was told to go for a proper civil hearing. Some of my colleagues said SMSs are not acceptable and the lady may accuse me of indecent allegations. They advised me to forget my money. Please, advise.

An SMS is generally a method of proof. However, the final decision whether it is an acceptable proof or not is up to the judge who will evaluate the case according to its circumstances and then decide if the evidence is acceptable or not. Additionally, according to article 113 of the Civil Transactions Law: “A creditor shall prove his right and a debtor may disprove it,” which means that you have the right to prove your right before the court by any legal means.

Moreover, article 112 of the same law identified the evidences of proof as follow “a, writing; b, Testimony; c, presumptions; d, inspection and expertise; e, confession; f, oath-taking”. Therefore, you can approach the court and use any of the above mentioned ways of proof to assist your case and not rely only on  SMS.



Nasser Ahmed Al Osaiba is an Emirati Partner and Lawyer at Global Advocates and Legal Consultants, legal member in the Rent Dispute Committee, Umm Al Quwain, with a Master’s Degree in commercial law, Melbourne University, Australia. Readers may e-mail their questions to: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to (Legal View), Khaleej Times, Dubai PO Box 11243

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