Settle outstanding loans, credit card and utility bills to ensure worry-free return to the UAE

Any debt issues in the UAE relate to this country only and should have no relevance in other GCC countries.

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I lived in Dubai for six months in 1999 and left my employer with the understanding that my bank account and credit cards would be settled with my last paycheque. But I am not sure that ever happened. Since then I have not heard anything from anyone in Dubai or the bank I used there, and I have also since had dealings with the same bank in Australia. I work in the oil industry and currently have an opportunity in Saudi Arabia but am concerned that I may be blacklisted. Am I likely to have any problems? LH, Australia

If there has been no contact after all this time it is unlikely that a police case has been registered for unpaid debt, and that would need to have happened for there to be any issues with entering the UAE. Any debt issues in the UAE relate to this country only and should have no relevance in other GCC countries. To be 100 per cent certain I recommend that LH contact the bank in the UAE with his full name and the account numbers to confirm that all debts were paid and there are no outstanding balances. I always recommend that people personally close bank accounts before leaving the UAE and request written confirmation from the bank to this effect, so they can be certain there will not be any future issues. People are usually only “blacklisted” in relation to employment issues, but unpaid debts can lead to arrest on arrival, though only if a police case has been registered.

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. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice.

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