I happen to have written quite a bit about debt problems in Dubai. It originally caught my eye because it’s one of the only places I am aware of where people have no access to bankruptcy and face actual extended jail time for unpaid bills.
You can see the past Dubai and UAE stories here.
The situation in Dubai is still not great, at all. There are still limited opportunities to resolve debt with creditors and stories about people being held in the creditors office for hours at a time till they agree to repay the debt, are not uncommon.
Frankly, in some cases it’s easiest to do the jail time and be set free to deal with the debt. One past reader used their vacation time for their short sentence and people at work never knew their vacation was spent in a Dubai jail. The room service is a bit lacking.
Because of the absence of reasonable solutions to deal with problem debt in Dubai, people take all sorts of action. Many ex-pats flee the country and go back to their own in the UK, India, or the Philippines. The number of cars that are abandoned at the international airport has actually been a problem in recent years.
Not long ago, one family took a more drastic path out of debt in Dubai, they killed themselves. Anil Kumar and wife Sreeja committed suicide after strangling their eight-year-old daughter Anusree in Ras Al Khaimah recently.
Official records show in the past nine months, 53 Indians committed suicide. In one suicide a 38-year-old Indian foreman jumped from the 148th floor of the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa, on May 10. Then, a 45-year-old executive jumped from the 30th floor of a building in Jumeirah Lakes Towers on May 13.
Kumar P, whose brother committed suicide due to incessant threatening calls from the bank, told Khaleej Times that he decided to end the problem by killing himself because the banks never gave him a chance after he lost his job. “He also could not leave Dubai as his name was in the immigration’s records of blacklisted people,” Kumar said. – Source
To try and deal with this very sad situation in Dubai, the police are trying to give people a chance of negating a solution with their creditors before arresting them.
The bad check debt settlement process, that is run by the police in Dubai, allows the creditor and debtor a chance to reach a suitable repayment arrangement rather than face jail time.
The Dubai police report that bad check cases are now the majority of cases filed.
The beneficial part of this new Dubai police debt settlement approach is the issuance of a certificate of good conduct by the police so the debtor can remain employed or find a new job so they can repay their debt.
The police system also allows for the payment to creditors through the police. What will we see next, Dubai Police Debt Settlement Service franchises?
A proposed credit reporting system in Dubai is slated to be created by the police as well. The system would allegedly allow the reporting of history of bad check disputes to banks so they could use that information in their evaluation when opening new accounts or extending credit.