Can I transit via UAE airport with an unpaid debt?

Keren Bobker advises an Indian resident who has an outstanding debt of Dh60,000 in the Emirates and wants to pass through the country.

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I have an outstanding debt of Dh60,000 in the UAE which is not being paid. So if I transit through Dubai or Abu Dhabi will there be a problem? Can they arrest me in the airport even if I don’t enter the country itself but enter the airport for another flight? AT, India

Anyone who has an outstanding police case registered for debt should be flagged on the UAE immigration computer system. In theory if you are simply in transit then you will not enter the country or go through immigration, but if a flight is delayed you may be permitted to exit the airport or asked to go through the relevant process, which could lead to an arrest for non-payment of debt. Until such time as the monies owed are repaid there will always be a risk of arrest when travelling through the UAE.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 20 years of experience. Contact her at Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE.

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice.

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