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American With UAE Dubai Credit Card Debt is Worried About Interpol. – Lisa

“Dear Steve,

I am an American who was working in the uae for six months and in that time I accrued credit card debt in the approximate amount of $10,000USD. This is probably an overestimate, but definetly not an underestimate. I could not stand the working conditions in the UAE so I fled the country leaving behind my credit card debt.

My mother has been contacted by the bank a few times and then once by a UAE collection agency. Her response is always the same answer: “I don’t know where she is.” I have also received emails(although they are few and far between) regarding the matter. I simply do not respond to them. The latest one states that they will hand my case over to Interpol.

Will they hand over my case to Interpol for that insignificant amount(insignificant for an oil-rich country)? What will/can be done? Should I be worried? Should I avoid flying into any GCC state in the future?


Dear Lisa,

There is a current scheme in Dubai to attempt to work out payment arrangements with creditors but from everything I’ve read you would need to be in the UAE to investigate that program. It’s administered by the local police.

Since you’ve already fled the country I would avoid any GCC country but you will not have any issues coming back into the United States.

I have not heard of any case being turned over to Interpol for a simple credit card default and and that sure sounds like a hollow scare tactic since Interpol has a much higher scale of priorities to deal with.

When you can, you might want to reach out to the bank in the UAE and attempt to workout a suitable repayment arrangement.

If you have concerns about your legal status in Dubai you might want to find an attorney in the UAE to advise you.

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

About the author

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.


  • The banks in the UAE cannot do anything if you are in the US or Canada. I had few loans and left in 2008 for family situation in Canada. I got few calls and then a collection agency in Canada and I told them that if they call back again, I will file charges. That was last year. If you are outside the GCC, You are okay. 

    • Hi RKhan,
      More or less you are correct. The financial laws and documents one signs for Mortgage, Credit Card or whatever else in UAEDubai, specifically states that the laws of Dubai and locality of Dubai is governing these contracts. As mentioned, Banks and Institutions hire service of collection agencies or law firms in States or Canada, with the hope of recovering something, and pay a portion to the involved agency. If anyone hears otherwise, I appreciate update to this matter.

  • Hello,
    i worked in UAE for 4 years and sometime in 2006..i had a financial problem ..leading to credit card debts…to the point that i can’t pay them anymore..
    the bank filed a case to the police…they said that they will not pursue the case if i’m going to pay my debts..and the case will be erased from the police file records…fortunately some of my friends and co workers helped me get through it and settled payments on them..luckily i was cleared of the charges against me..i continue to work…then after few months, my employer cancelled our visa and sent us back to our home country…leaving unpaid credit cards and a loan fron a bank…as much as i want to go back and pay my debts…i can’t because i don’t have money and the capacity to pay…now i’m married to a Green card holder and soon to be a US citizen and he will file a petition for me and our child to join him in USA…my worries and questions are:1. do i need to declare the settled filed case before even though i was cleared of it?2. will i be refused of an immigrant visa if i declare it?3. will they know of my unpaid debts in UAE? can it affect my application?4. what are the chances of me for getting an immigrant visa?5. what will be my status?i really do need an advice…i am hoping for your utmost and favorable response…thank you

    • Yes it will affect your application I suggest you do back to Dubai pay your dept or stay where you are do not go to US . They will arrest you from their and take you back to Dubai and you get a additional bonus of 1 year extra prisonment with your due . If it sounds not too bad go prison otherwise stay put . The US will know of your unpaid depts.

      • Incorrect Rowan. If you have a pending criminal case in the UAE and an Interpol red notice against you for a bounced security cheque, the USA will NOT extradite you under any circumstances.

  • my boyfriend will be working in cyprus and from manila, transit is via dubai.. he has credit card debts there. will he be able to pass thru without any hassles or will he be jailed once he enters dubai?  thanks much..

    •  Hi,

      Yes your boyfriend would be held at the airport of Dubai and would be put in Jail unless he pays what he owes the bank. I am very sure of this because I used to work at FGB bank in Dubai. Please please please let him board another plane that doesnt stop over in Dubai. I am telling you he will have problems that you couldnt solve unless you pay back the bank. Trust me.

      • That’s not the feedback others have posted here on the site. They’ve made flight connection transfers without a problem. But the underlying issue here is that the debt remains unresolved. So I guess anything is possible.

  • Interpol does not have the time or money to deal with little cases like this. As a matter of fact…Interpol sucks in general. They are only used for extreme monetary theft, child porn..things of that nature. Why do people freak out so much about these things? Have you not heard about debt collectors before in your life? Those people are worse than the ex-customers they’re trying to scare lol. 

    • Good link and story. It’s about time. Interesting though the number of people reported on that list was so small to begin with. Looks like they were just on there in error to being with.

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