Resignation with 1 month notice – I live in Dubai

Dear Sir, I resigned from the company I worked for, for 9.5 years on 31st December 2012. On resigning the company asked me to surrender my labour card and passport - which I did. I have just read an article that I should not surrender my passport. Is this a problem for me? Secondly, they are requesting (a colleague of mine who resigned 1 month earlier and I am sure I will go through the same thing) - that a document is signed to say that we / I will not contact any of their clients for six months as we are / I am going to a competitor. Also, I must sign that legal action can be taken against us /me if they find and prove that we / I have used any information that belongs to the company. I did not sign anything during the last visa renewal. Can they force me to sign and hold my gratuity. What are my rights. Thirdly - it has been mentioned that they can get the police to search our homes. I have not gone through this phase personally yet but my colleague who resigned has. Can they do this? Are they just threatening in the hope that we will sign the document? Appreciate you much needed advice on this. Kind regards,
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