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Thread: Dubai Debt - Legal Action threatened

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    Dubai Debt - Legal Action threatened

    I am desperately trying to get advice with regard to credit card debt I have in Dubai. I was forced to leave the country when my dad had a stroke and lost my job. I am unemployed in South Africa but I have credit card debt of 45 000 dirhams in Dubai that I am currently trying to pay off. The Rand to dirham exchange rate fluctuates between R5 to 1 AED. I cannot afford the minimum monthly installment of 1400 dirhams so I pay 500 dirhams as I have to loan that money from family. The bank has threatened criminal and legal action despite me emailing them and speaking to them on the phone. I have repeatedly said I am committed to paying off the debt and will not dissapear or not pay anything as I want to return to Dubai. I have asked for a reduced payment option until I can get another job but they harrass and ignore my emails each month and every two weeks for the past 6 months I am threatened continuously.
    I would like to know if by law they can implement a criminal case against me despite me having paid a reduced rate - that they did not agree on - and despite the fact that I continuously communicate and have proof of it?
    What happens after a criminal case in Dubai is implemented? How do I fight it?
    Is it not better for the bank to get some money out of me or are they trying to sell my debt to debt collectors and then letting the legal course take place?
    I really cant find any advice - I am an honest man and really just trying to look after my critically ill dad and pay my debts.
    Please help

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    R182000.00 is quite a lot of money to owe in Dubai. I have just come back from Dubai and would not take a chance of going back or thinking that they will be lenient. Their systems at the airport are very good as well, including eye recognition so who knows where else it is linked to. I know that every time I pass thro their system they can almost tell me everything about me. I would think that it would be linked to the banks as well. Their laws are totally different so I would really be very carefull. You say you will "not disappear" ....... but you actually have - you now live in Cape Town.
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    This may not be the best place to look for help on Dubai law. However I'll throw in my 2c based on hearsay and unsubstantiated sources.

    In Dubai, it is a criminal act to not pay off debt and you can be jailed for it. I have no idea how you expect to pay R180k worth of credit card debt whilst unemployed. I think you are wasting your time trying to pay this at the moment, they obviously don't want your reduced payments. I would seriously consider putting this behind you and simply never return to Dubai again, or at least not until you have the full amount to pay them. Not much point in getting in to debt here as well, although at least here its not a criminal offense.

    Although you want to pay the debt, the reality is that you cannot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BusFact View Post
    This may not be the best place to look for help on Dubai law. However I'll throw in my 2c based on hearsay and unsubstantiated sources.

    In Dubai, it is a criminal act to not pay off debt and you can be jailed for it. I have no idea how you expect to pay R180k worth of credit card debt whilst unemployed. I think you are wasting your time trying to pay this at the moment, they obviously don't want your reduced payments. I would seriously consider putting this behind you and simply never return to Dubai again, or at least not until you have the full amount to pay them. Not much point in getting in to debt here as well, although at least here its not a criminal offense.

    Although you want to pay the debt, the reality is that you cannot.
    Thank you for your 2C - you are right - there are hundreds of people leaving Dubai with debt and just not returning. I will not return to the country unless i have the money to pay it all as I know I will be locked up as soon as I step foot on the airport. My intention is to get a job here and try to pay it off. However I was just asking if I could avoid
    the criminal charge by paying a reduced rate or if they are still able to lay a charge. I dont want to forfeit the payment - but finding a job is the first realistic step and keeping my record clean in Dubai what I was trying to do by paying off something as opposed to nothing. Thanks for the reply.

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    Thanks for your advice - and insights. I dont plan on returning unless I have paid the full amount. I was just asking if paying something is better than paying nothing to avoid the criminal charge. But I know thousands of expats have left the country with unpaid debt. I just didnt want to be one of them. When i get a job - i can try to sort it out. But i wont be flying to any of the emirates unless this matter is sorted. Being locked up in jail there doesnt make sense. appreciate your reply.

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    Another thing you need to take into consideration is - Dubai is a Transit airport to Europe etc. Do not think that you can still just use it for transit. You have to go thro the exact procedures when landing and transiting to another part of the airport. It frustrates the hell out of me. I had a hip replacement a few years ago so I cannot get thro a metal detector without it going off like alarm bells etc. This time it happened again - I was immediately taken aside and body searched twice !!. I am always body search when this happens at other airports, but Dubai really jump into action when it happens there.
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