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I Want to Avoid Jail in the UAE for My Debt. – Patrick

“Dear Steve,

Recently terminated from my job as a university professor in Dubai due to false accusations by director.

Been in UAE for two years.

Have a loan and multiple credit cards debt.

Bear a Middle Eastern Passport and a Canadian citizen.

UAE visa stamped on Middle Eastern Passport.

For the very short period I have spent in the UAE my situation can be classified as an ordeal. I have worked for one year in Abu Dhabi and got terminated then moved to Dubai and again got terminated at the end of the second year.

I am a Canadian citizen but my origins are from the Middle East (East Mediterranean). I have been suffering for the past two years as I first thought that moving to that place would solve my problems but unfortunately ended up with more trouble for me. My visa had been placed on the Middle Eastern passport due to some advice by people living there.

To cut a long story short I got terminated last week from my job in Dubai due to some ragamuffin runty director who happens to be from my country of origin. He insisted on cancelling my visa for good so I had no option except for running away in order to think right. I am still in the Middle East but with two options:

1- Go back to Canada without settling my best or
2- Look for more jobs there while I am here and risk it and go back to Dubai.

a) As a Canadian citizen what would happen to me there and what can the Dubai based banks do to me?
b) My parents live in my country of origin and own a property. Could those banks pick on them or possibly take over that property? Remember that it is not mine.
c) If I go for the first option I would never ever want to go back to the GCC again for the misery I have experienced but the question that poses itself is would I be caught if I ever decided to visit my country of origin or any other non GCC country?

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Dear Patrick,

Owing debt in the UAE is very problematic. Unless you can come to some arrangement with your UAE creditors then you need to consider the alternative if you remain, jail.

While international collections is possible, it may be unlikely in Canada. Additionally, at least in Canada there are debt collection laws which can protect you from abuse and jail.

The creditors would not have any claim on any asset not owned by you.

If the creditors in the UAE did file legal charges against you I have not heard of any person being detained in a non-GCC country.

The best solution is to try to repay your debt before creditors file legal action against you in the UAE. Otherwise, you’ll probably do what many thousands have done before you, and get out of the country fast.

I would suggest you contact your creditors before you default on your payments and attempt to work out a solution. I’m never an advocate for fleeing the country but when it comes to the UAE, the choices for default appear to be either jail or jail.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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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.

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