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I’m in Debt in Dubai. – Matthew

Matthew

“Dear Steve,

I need an guidance from you. sir, i have outstanding totaling to 200,000dhs in dubai. i am still in dubai and with 6500dhs salary it has become impossible for me to repay all of them. i worte to all banks to allow me start paying of for small cards and switch to bigger cards and then loans. all appreciated the idea but asked me to start repaying their bank on preriority basis. this again became a trouble for me as no bank is agreed to wait for their turn of payment time. sir in this connection is there any way out with which i can approach police or court and ask them for help to allow me pay small cards and then swtich to bigger ones and then to personal loans. i dont mind if the court or police hold my passport till i clear all the debts. i have fair intention to repay all my outstanding as i am still on job, kindly advice please. thanks

Matthew”

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The Answer

 

Dear Matthew,

I wish I had good news for you but I don’t. The UAE has very strict regulations against debtors. Under Sharia, which prevails in Dubai, the punishment for defaulting on a debt is severe. Bouncing a check, for example, is punishable with jail.

There is no process or regulation that requires creditors in Dubai to treat you fairly or to participate in any organized plan to repay your debts on an affordable basis.

The good news, if any, is that while a creditor might legally charge you with defaulting on your debts, it is reported that the courts in Dubai have a backlog of debt cases to work through.

Here is a recounting of an ex-pat that faced debt problems in Dubai:

“When we realised that, I sat Daniel down and told him: listen, we need to get out of here. He knew he was guaranteed a pay-off when he resigned, so we said – right, let’s take the pay-off, clear the debt, and go.” So Daniel resigned – but he was given a lower pay-off than his contract suggested. The debt remained. As soon as you quit your job in Dubai, your employer has to inform your bank. If you have any outstanding debts that aren’t covered by your savings, then all your accounts are frozen, and you are forbidden to leave the country.

“Suddenly our cards stopped working. We had nothing. We were thrown out of our apartment.” Karen can’t speak about what happened next for a long time; she is shaking.

Daniel was arrested and taken away on the day of their eviction. It was six days before she could talk to him. “He told me he was put in a cell with another debtor, a Sri Lankan guy who was only 27, who said he couldn’t face the shame to his family. Daniel woke up and the boy had swallowed razor-blades. He banged for help, but nobody came, and the boy died in front of him.”

Karen managed to beg from her friends for a few weeks, “but it was so humiliating. I’ve never lived like this. I worked in the fashion industry. I had my own shops. I’ve never…” She peters out.

Daniel was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment at a trial he couldn’t understand. It was in Arabic, and there was no translation. “Now I’m here illegally, too,” Karen says I’ve got no money, nothing. I have to last nine months until he’s out, somehow.” Looking away, almost paralysed with embarrassment, she asks if I could buy her a meal.

She is not alone. All over the city, there are maxed-out expats sleeping secretly in the sand-dunes or the airport or in their cars.

“The thing you have to understand about Dubai is – nothing is what it seems,” Karen says at last. “Nothing. This isn’t a city, it’s a con-job. They lure you in telling you it’s one thing – a modern kind of place – but beneath the surface it’s a medieval dictatorship.” Source

If you are not a resident of the UAE or a citizen of the GCC (see I Am Pregnant and in Debt in the UAE But Will Not Be Able to Pay My Bills for Ten Months. – Leifam for GCC information) then you should consider getting out of the UAE as soon as possible to avoid arrest once you default. This is what many people do when faced with an otherwise unworkable situation.

Big Hug!

Im in Debt in Dubai.   Matthew
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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Lucy

    dear Rania,
    your story was very touching, i am sorry for that what happened to you, but pls be sure, maybe you paid 10000 dhs to avoid something worse, should happen to you… i was in troubles in uae. i refered to police, and you know what they said? i will tell you the full story: we owned a small internet cafe in shj. the business was very bad, high rent, electricity, etisalat bills… to much money. but this is not the point. i was the owner and the servant, everything there, because we were not able to hire somebody. and one evening we got 2 pakistanis, they want to buy headphone… we had new headphones in reserve, because we had to maintain and change accesssoires quite often. so i gave one to those ppl and ask for 20 dhs, not even 1 dhs more than the cost. he gave me 1000 dhs, my husband returned him 980 dhs and i demanded to count befor leaving. and then he changed his mind and gave the headphone back , we gave him his 1000 banknote and at this moment tehy cut the electricity. and ofcourse they disappear without givin us the change 980, we already gave to him. immediately i called the police… and the reply was: what you want you are not allowed to sale headphones… this was the answer from police. instead to prevent this kind of actions, they replied like that. Anyway i hope you are now in better situation. wish you all the best,
    Lucy from Armenia

  • Sherif1571

    The best way to exit Dubai without any scandal, is to use a hot air balloon. It is completely untraceable and cannot be detected by radars or ground-to-air batteries. Best location to exit is from any place in the northern desert of the u.a.e, make sure you check the wind forecast before making any decision. Use the north winds, which blows every quarter for non-stop 3/4 days. Make sure you also get your GPS, Heavy covers, helmet, food supply, lots of water and fly to yemen. Once you land in yemen you can bribe anyone on the street and leave the country using either your passport or getting a yemeni one instead. for more info. pls check this website out http://www.stumpfballoons.com/

  • Rania

    Dear Steve,

    I would like to report about very unfortunate event happened to me in Dubai / Sharjah emirates. I am a Lebanese woman. I worked in Dubai. I lived in Sharjah.

    Due to the drop in property values in Dubai, my employer terminated my job. I was nervous. I had to sell everything and I had and return to my home country Lebanon.

    I give an advertisement to sell my car in Gulf News to appear on a Friday. It was a Honda Civic 2004. I got a call early morning; say 7.30 am from a small boy asking me to see the car. When I said yes you can come and see the car, he gave the phone to his father. Father asked me the location and they came. Father, Son and his mother. Father is lean, thin person about 5’6 height, Asian around 50 years of age. Son around 10-12 years of age. I did not feel any thing wrong. Father inspected my car and said several defects about the car. He said there are scratches all over the car. Car may have accidents etc.

    He test drove the car to see if there is anything wrong with the car. I was sitting in the front seat, his son in the back seat. His wife was standing near their car. While driving the car he told me that he has 7 sons, this car is for the first son, car is for home use, he is working in fire service in Sharjah etc, after taking a trip he came back to the same place where it was parked. He did not park the car.

    He started asking me how much is the cost of the car while the engine is still running; his leg is still at the break. I told him it is Dhs.23,000.00.. To my surprise he told me if he can pay Dhs.13, 000.00. I got so angry, but I said NO. He started rubbing my wrist and said God will give you the money. I said NO. Then he said 13,000 is his budget. . he said he has big family and little income and begged to sell the car to him. His son also begged from the back seat. Then he was about to weep as if he were poor. Then I asked him go and buy a car for 13,000.00. why you want a car of 23,000 for 13,000. Then he said he has to change the light in the front of the car. I told him there is no problem with the light. Then he said ‘no no light is very bad’ then I told him I have been using the car for so long. There is no problem with the light. Then he said no for sure lights are bad. Then I said, Ok you don’t buy this car. Did I invite you or force you to buy this car. I told him to park the car. I was already very upset because I lost job.

    Then he said 13,800.00 . then I thought, this is going to be very difficult. There is no point in bargaining with this gentleman. So I told him to park the car. Then like a fox he said “who will buy this car? Full of scratches, 96,000 KM? who will buy?. I got so angry and I got out of the car and asked him to park the car. But he did not park the car. He made fun of the car.

    He started discussing with his son something. I did not understand his language. I was waiting for him to park the car and return the key. I impatiently told him again to park the car. He pretended that he did not hear. Again they were discussing something. Then he asked me where is Emirates bank. I told him there is one near Al Mulla Plaza. He again continued his discussion with his son. Suddenly he screamed at the top of his voice “Come, Come, Come’’. I have never heard anyone shouting so loudly. That was the biggest yelling I have heard ever. I got a shock. His scream broke my ears. I went and sit in the front seat. He asked his son to call his wife. He started driving the car. I asked him where are we going. He said “we will see.” He started talking something else. Then I though he may be willing to pay 23,000.

    He parked the car near Emirates bank ATM near Al Mulla Plaza and went to the bank with his son. The engine was on and his wife in the back seat. She did not talk to me at all. After a long wait he came back and asked me to take a paper. He spoke to me with authority like he is my manager. In the beginning he was begging to me. I asked him why , he said I will tell you. Then he started saying. ‘……….Received from Antony James advance for the car. Then he give me the money. He did not say how much. I asked him. He asked me to count. When I was about to finish, he said “whatever money you need to pay in Muroor, I will pay, you don’t have to pay anything’’. He was intentionally distracting my attention. But I did not understand it. I told him I am selling the car, why would I pay any money, he has to pay everything. Then he said ‘’ can you sign’’ in a loud voice. I was scared. I signed for 13,000.00. I thought this is advance and he will pay the balance the next day. When he retuned to drop me he was taking so nicely, in sweet voice, like why are you selling the car, where are you staying etc. then he said you don’t have to come to murroor. I will do everything for you. Why you have to come and waste 5-6 hours. He said he will go to typing center and make paper and it is easy.

    I was busy with packing my bag. I thought it is fine. I was so busy and upset that I lost the job; my attention was about my situation back home. I have to leave the UAE in 21 days time. I did not think about car.

    Next day he came and he started saying the underneath of the car is broken, car is full of scratches etc. so many defects about the car.

    Then he drove to Sharjah gold souk, there are lots of second hand cars parked. He went to that place. I objected to him. But he refused. He still drove though narrow roads and both sides used cars were parked. He asked me to go with him to a typing center and sign some papers and I refused. I demanded money. He shouted at me and said I will pay money later. First you sign. It was contract of sale. I refused. He threatened me, shouted at me, yelled at me, intimidated me, abused me, he was about to assault me, stared at me, when he started physically abusing me, I signed the paper.

    It was like I am selling him my car for 13,000.00. There was no way to escape. So I signed the paper. I was afraid of my life. He was a Pakistani. He dropped me near my house. I cried and told my sister. We did not know what to do. We informed our relatives. They searched the Gulf News and told me that there is an advertisement for selling my car. They called the number and asked him details of the car and it was my car.!!!!!!!!!!
    Antony James (that man) was a second hand car dealer!!!!!!.. he is selling the car for Dhs.22,500.00
    The mobile number given in the advertisement was Du mobile. When he contacted me to buy the car, he used Etisalat mobile !!!!!!!!!!! He is a professional & very well experienced thief.

    We went to different police stations in sharjah by evening. The police told us to go to court. On Sunday, my boss called me to come and finish urgent work, so I could not go to court. I had to go to work on Monday as well. Then I called so many police numbers, they told me to go to AL Barsha muroor. They give me a form that states that I am the owner of the car. I went to Bur Dubai police station near trade center round about with that paper. After explaining the whole story to so many police officers, finally I met the right police officer. He asked me to wait. The wait took 4 hours. Finally he called me and took the paper that I got from muroor. He entered the details in the computer. Next day he called me and said there is no car in your name. I realized that Antony James sold the car to some one else. So the car is not in my name. I explained the whole story so many times to so many police officers. But I got very disappointing reply. ‘’This is not your car.’’

    I asked the police officer ( I don’t remember his name) what to do. he said I don’t know. He said he is very busy. Then what is the use of police? He even misplaced the paper

    To cut the story short. Antony James, Pakistani, is a very well experienced second hand car dealer residing near sharjah gold souk. His son will contact people as if they were genuine people looking to buy a car and then Antony will take over. He would tell stories like he has 7 sons, he is working in fire service etc to divert our attention. If we refuse to listen, he will beg us, compel us, force us ,threaten us and take the car for an amount far less than the actual. Then he will give an advertisement in Gulf News for selling the car using Du mobile. He will not go to Muroor. He will go to typing center and make a sale contract. Without incurring insurance and registration fee, he will sell the car and put the money in his pocket. The discussion he had with his little son is the training he gave to his son as to how to cheat people. He took too long in the ATM machine. Because he was training his son to cheat me. He was explaining to him. I never thought he would. For contacting his victims, he uses Etisalat phone number and for selling his car, he uses Du phone number. This is to avoid any one noticing that Antony James is the person behind the scene.

    They appear to be a family, but they are out to cheat weak people, women and lone people and take car. there are so many Pakistani second hand car dealers near Sharjah gold souk. Antony is one among them.

    Police both in Dubai and Sharjah was so inefficient that they don’t know anything; They don’t know what to do. I explained the story to so many police officers. Each time they would refer to another person. They did not do anything to get me justice or catch Antony James. This happened to me because I am a woman and I was alone. I was nervous and upset that I lost my job. I am writing this so that police taken action and prevent this type of fraud from happening in future to anyone. I am broke, I lost job, I lost 10,000 dirhams in the car sale. What is the use of police in a city like Dubai, if they don’t bring culprits like Antony James to justice?

    Do you want to catch him? You can give an advertisement in Gulf News to sell a Honda Civic 2004 without giving the amount. He son will call early morning to find out the amount and then you tell him 15,000.00 then they will come to see your the car. (This is an example only). You can advertise to sell any car. If you are alone or a woman, they will force, compel, beg, to sell the car to him. He may also tell your car is very bad and so many defects about the car to change your mind and sell the car to him at a cheap price. If this is not working, Antony James will shout, threaten, intimidate, verbal abuse and drive the car without your permission.

    Please Catch him. This is for public good, to make Dubai, and Sharjah crime free. There are so many Antony James in UAE. At the time of the incident I was living behind Al Ansar Mall, near road that goes towards Sahara Mall in Sharjah. I don’t have his passport. He is very experienced person in cheating, he did not give me anything. He is a professional in cheating and telling lies. He never looks into your eyes. He avoids direct eye contact. I am sure he would have cheated so many people before me. He was compelling me all the time. Although he said, he is working in fire service, he knew every thing about Muroor. Now that I am in Lebenon, I don’t think I can come to Dubai and fight for this. I had his both mobile numbers. But I lost it, by the time I came back to Lebanon. If Dubai police has acted quickly we could have caught him. But the police officer in Bur Dubai police station even misplaced my documents that I gave to them. The police officer said he was busy.

    Please advice as to if there is I can do?

    Thanks
    Rania.

    • Harendra

      Rania you are great for making aware others about this fraud.

      other will take insperation from this incident, I do have sympethy with you.

      regards

    • Lucy

      dear Rania,
      your story was very touching, i am sorry for that what happened to you, but pls be sure, maybe you paid 10000 dhs to avoid something worse, should happen to you… i was in troubles in uae. i refered to police, and you know what they said? i will tell you the full story: we owned a small internet cafe in shj. the business was very bad, high rent, electricity, etisalat bills… to much money. but this is not the point. i was the owner and the servant, everything there, because we were not able to hire somebody. and one evening we got 2 pakistanis, they want to buy headphone… we had new headphones in reserve, because we had to maintain and change accesssoires quite often. so i gave one to those ppl and ask for 20 dhs, not even 1 dhs more than the cost. he gave me 1000 dhs, my husband returned him 980 dhs and i demanded to count befor leaving. and then he changed his mind and gave the headphone back , we gave him his 1000 banknote and at this moment tehy cut the electricity. and ofcourse they disappear without givin us the change 980, we already gave to him. immediately i called the police… and the reply was: what you want you are not allowed to sale headphones… this was the answer from police. instead to prevent this kind of actions, they replied like that. Anyway i hope you are now in better situation. wish you all the best,
      Lucy from Armenia

  • billy37

    Looks nice but man there prehistoric?
    If you owe money to the bank in Dubai they freeze your account, stop your passport so you can’t leave and throw you in jail! FOR REAL!!! Does this mean that all the bankers in Dubai are going to jail?

  • Clara

    Hi Steve …hope u doing gr8…Please help me out to get out from debt..Steve i m wrking but the prblm is wat so evr i m earng pyng for my debt ..and I m nt abl to save money for my self nd nt able to send money home …please steve guid me wat to do.

    regds.
    Clara

  • Glenn Outman

    Hi Folks,
    First of all, I would like to thank Steve for his great voluntary effort in helping those in debt. I would like to clarify some of the debt related issues attributed to Dubai and I will be succinct.

    1. ALL landlords demand cash for the first quarter and usually 2-3 checks for the remaining year, payable upfront when you lease an apartment or villa in Dubai or any other emirate in the UAE. This is the only way you can rent.

    2. ALL banks in the UAE (Dubai and other emirates) require you to provide a signed, blank check to them when you apply for a credit card/obtain a loan. This is the only way they will deal with you! .. and this is one reason banks love Dubai (at least until recently).

    3. The above two points are primary reasons that land ordinary, working people in jail.

    4. Businessmen – one has to provide a post-dated check in order to purchase from say, a wholesaler so you can sell in your retail shop or obtain supplies from a vendor so you can manufacture your goods etc.

    5. In all of the above situations, you are at the mercy at the one that holds your post dated/signed blank checks!! So think a MILLION times.. before one had to think twice–now with people landing in jail like raindrops falling on your patio roof, you need to think a MILLION times if you want to get into these situations OR even BE IN DUBAI IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    Like someone rightly said in this forum, Dubai is a con-job behind the veil of a cruel dictatorship. Your fines and fees fund their horses that have better lives than Britishers in debt in Dubai. The England I knew back then, if they were in half those spirits Dubai would have been England’s vegetable plot today for their inaction.

    Finally, I would like to highlight that Dubai is an insult to Islam and sharia law. Trust me when I tell (as an educated Christian that actually believes that Islam is a great religion and Muslims are like the five fingers..) you, Islam teaches one to be patient and merciful towards those in debt. These are people that came to build Dubai. Dubai crashes due to its own recklessness and a failed/inadequately and inaccurately articulated legal system treats those in debt like criminals.

    What is more frightening is what follows when a check is bounced. Read on..
    The holder of your bounced check has to present it to your bank twice (and it can be done in one visit) and obtain insufficient/no funds stamped twice on your check. Then he can go to a police station and file a bounced check case. The police would most often call the issuer of the check the same day and continue calling you. By now, it is in the “system” and this database is linked to immigration and all government public related computer systems. If you go to renew your visa, they can quietly call the cops on you and your visa renewal visit can land you in jail. The same applies if you try to exit the country. Immigration would arrest you in throw you in jail.

    Once in jail, you are taken to public prosecution, handcuffed in pairs along with other jail birds. They would record what you have to say. Good luck if you do not speak Arabic! The worst part is, even if you tell the truth that you did not go around bouncing checks but you had a genuine situation where say, you lost your job and your landlord cashed your post-dated check, or your bank cashed your ‘free to reign over you-signed check’ because you missed a credit card payment or two–it does not make a difference! For them, you bounced a check and you are a criminal! No mercy! This is where sharia gets bird dropping on it.

    It is we who made Dubai what they are. If you believe criminalizing a poor debtor is wrong, awful and uncivilized, do not support Dubai! Do not visit it, do not take up employment there and this would force them to change for good or stall in failure like majority of their real estate projects. Having said all this, appreciate the US for it is a much better society. You can at least file for bankruptcy. It is your right even in Islam.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Glenn,

      Thank you so much for your advice and insight about debt in Dubai. You write as if you’ve had some personal experience with the system there. If you did, was it scary?

      Steve

    • Sherif1571

      The best way to exit Dubai without any scandal, is to use a hot air balloon. It is completely untraceable and cannot be detected by radars or ground-to-air batteries. Best location to exit is from any place in the northern desert of the u.a.e, make sure you check the wind forecast before making any decision. Use the north winds, which blows every quarter for non-stop 3/4 days. Make sure you also get your GPS, Heavy covers, helmet, food supply, lots of water and fly to yemen. Once you land in yemen you can bribe anyone on the street and leave the country using either your passport or getting a yemeni one instead. for more info. pls check this website out http://www.stumpfballoons.com/usedhot.htm

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