Fleeing the UAE to escape debt is not an option

Keren Bobker advises a Dubai resident who has missed payments and has a registered police case against him as he seeks to leave the country.

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A bank in Dubai has registered a case against me with the police, although I have not yet heard anything from them. I have debts I cannot repay. I owe money for four months of payments, but I do not have a job and therefore do not have enough money to repay the bank. I want to leave the country so that I do not go to jail. I want to know if it will be acceptable if I fly from the airport in Abu Dhabi instead of Dubai. RM, Dubai

If a police case for debt is registered against someone it should show up on the Immigration Department computer systems across the whole of the country. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are separate emirates but are still part of the same country, so any legal cases like this are applicable across all emirates. This means that anyone who has a case outstanding for non payment of debt is likely to be prevented from leaving the country through any point of exit, as the case will show up once a passport is scanned. In addition, even if someone leaves the country a debt is not written off, and there is both a moral and legal obligation to repay it.

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

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only