Employer in UAE illegally holding your passport? Al Adheed can help!

Disclaimer: This is based on someone's actual story whom I will not disclose for privacy reasons. This blog is intended to share the step-by-step process (based on personal experience) to retrieve a Domestic Worker's passport from an employer who is illegally keeping it after the contract is over and the visa has expired. The employer promised to cancel the visa beforehand and return the passport, which actually never happened. 

Al Adheed logo

Have you ever heard of Al Adheed? Yes, it's the same at Tasheel, Amer, and Tadbeer...but with different services. 

So what is Al Adheed? By Dubai Court's definition on their website...

Al Adheed is "By the standards of distinguished government services, the Dubai Courts have authorized a service center to provide specific judicial services under the supervision of a committee that oversees the center."

"Their objectives are to increase customer satisfaction and raise happiness criteria. Provide judicial services that meet the highest government services requirements and standardize and smooth process for all segments of society."

Their services include the following:
1. Registration of Cases
2. Registration of Labour Cases
3. Registration of Personal Status Cases
4. Applications for Succession Declaration (Heirship Certificate)
5. Cases Application
6. Case Inquiry

It was MOHRE Dubai who referred us to go to Dubai Courts. Dubai Court's then referred us to Al Adheed. They told us it is the right place to apply for a Petition to Retrieve a Passport for Domestic Workers. 

In the UAE, by Law, it is illegal for employers (companies or individuals) to keep their employee's passports unless there is mutual consent. In the case of private company employees, the application is submitted to Tasheel. In the case of Domestic workers, Al Adheed is where you can request this application if you see no hope in retrieving your passport all by yourself from your employer.

Al Adheed office is located in Business Venue Building - Umm Hurair Rd - Oud Metha - Dubai inside the On Time Business Solutions office. Directions here


At Al Adheed, we filled out an application form and waited for our token to be called. We submitted the duly filled-out form, passport, visa, and Emirates ID copy of the plaintiff and defendant. It is mandatory to mention the contact numbers, email, and home addresses of both parties as well as the Makani number (very important) of the addresses. The cashier in the center can help with that.

The plaintiff received an OTP on her mobile for confirmation. The case has been registered. The cost is 105 dirhams for case registration.

We were told to wait to receive an email. The first email was a case registration confirmation, received on the same day we were in Al Adheed. The second email was after 5 working days with the Dubai Courts order/letter to Dubai Police to retrieve the passport from the employer amicably or by force if there is resistance and handover to the employee.

It didn't happen straightforwardly though, as we had an unexpected twist. 

When we presented the letter to the police, we were told the employer filed an absconding case. We were asked to go to the Al Aweer Immigration office where we presented the letter. It was processed by the immigration officer who called the employer on the phone to bring the passport to him right away. The employer's representative brought the passport the next day.

We came back the next day as we were told and we received the passport. It was a moment of truth for this person. We were so grateful. I was really happy as if I was my own passport we are getting. 

This experience made me love my second home all the more. Knowing that the law is being followed AND implemented. People who lost hope could hope again knowing that their government is behind them. That's why I have so much respect for UAE and Dubai. Thank you.

My Yellow Bells

Carla is a lifestyle blogger based in Dubai who's thankful to call this ever-evolving city her second home. The pages of this blog are filled with stories about her expat life in the sandpit. It features dining and travel adventures in and around the city and beyond. It also features food recipes, parenting tips, and fashion style.

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