What is the Statute of Limitations for Old Debt in Dubai? – Sharon

“Dear Jon,

i have a UAE debt and had been informed that a case will be opened against me and a travel ban instituted. My current income is low, I am not in the UAE, and the amount that I can afford to pay, amounts to ae207. the debt collecting agency from the emirates find this unacceptable, but i cannot afford more

is there a statute of limitations on old debt in Dubai? the loan was taken in 2007, and I have not heard from them since then, till early this year?



To my knowledge I am not aware of a statute of limitations or a period of time after which a debt in UAE is time barred, however over the years and in doing some research I have received conflicting reports. There seems to be a consensus that 15 years is what the civil code there states, but it may be best to get legal advice from someone who knows the laws there.

Still, as the loan is five (5) years old, I doubt it fits any criteria at this time for being time barred.

If you cannot afford to pay the debt, you cannot afford it. I would advise not traveling to or through the area if indeed a warrant has been issued.

I hope this in some way helps.



Jon Emge is an experienced UK debt advisor who has helped thousands and thousands of people in the UK to deal with problem debt. Jon specialises in finding good solutions for problem debt using a variety of UK specific techniques.

If you have a question you’d like to ask about how to get out of UK debt, just use the online form. I’m happy to help you for free.

See also  Citibank in Dubai Lied to Me About Settling My Debt

2 thoughts on “What is the Statute of Limitations for Old Debt in Dubai? – Sharon”

  1. Mr. Emge, kindly note that one should check UAE law before advising anyone, even on a friendly basis. The translated version of the UAE Federal Civil Transactions Law is available online at http://elaws.gov.ae . No Emirate may pass any law which contradicts it. The English translation of the law is available on the site, as well as the Arabic version.

    The duration of the statute of limitations is contingent on the type of debt, and it does not extinguish the right to the debt; it simply extinguishes the right to instate a civil suit. However, loans in the UAE usually involve checks. The bank may report the fraudulent check to the police, and then, after it is forwarded to public prosecution, there will be a travel ban if the amount of the check is high. Also, there is the possibility of a criminal judgment in absentia. It’s best to give someone a power of attorney to check with the police and see if a complaint has been filed, if a blacklisting has occurred, and if a case was filed (and is pending or has been heard. I cannot say whether there is a statute of limitations for criminal cases regarding check fraud; there is certainly one with respect to torts.

    If the creditor has not filed a civil suit, then the following section of the civil transactions law will apply. Note that it does not state the “extinctive prescription” for civil judgments. So if the creditor has filed a case and won, then I am not sure how long the JUDGMENT will be valid. That would depend on whether the service was properly performed and whatever restrictions the law of the particular Emirate passes.



    Article 473

    A right shall not be extinguished by time limitation but the hearing of the court case , against the one who denies it , shall not be admissible after the lapse of fifteen years without legal excuse , after due observance of the matter governed by special provisions .

    Article 474

    1 – A case concerning a claim of any periodical recurring right , when denied , shall not be heard after the lapse of five years without legal excuse .

    2 – As concerns revenue due by a holder in bad faith , the case , against who denies it , may not be heard after the lapse of fifteen years , without legal excuse .

    Article 475

    When denied and in the absence of a legal excuse , the case may not be heard after the lapse of five years , as concerns the following rights .

    1 – Rights of physicians , pharmacists , lawyers , engineers , experts , professors , teachers and brokers , provided that the debts are due as remuneration for work coming within the scope of their profession or in payment of expenses incurred by them .

    2 – Taxes and fees due to be recovered , if such have been unduly paid , without prejudice to the provisions stated in special laws .

    Article 476

    If denied and in the absence of a legal excuse , a case may not be heard after the lapse of two years if it concerns a claim for the following rights :

    a – The rights of merchants , manufacturers in respect of things supplied to persons who do not trade in such things ; rights of hotel and restaurant owners for the cost of accommodation and food and for expenses incurred by them on behalf of their clients .

    b – The rights of workmen , servants and wage earners in respect of their pay , daily or otherwise , and the cost of supplies provided by them .

    Article 477

    1 – In the instances mentioned in the preceding article , the case may not be heard even if the creditors are still performing other works for the debtor .

    2 – In case an acknowledgment or an instrument is drawn – up embodying any of the rights referred to in articles 474,475 and 476 , the case may not be heard after the lapse of fifteen years as of it becomes due .

    Article 478

    Prescription runs only from the day on which the debt becomes due and from the date on which the condition is realized , if subject to a suspensive condition and , in case of an action on a warranty , from the date its maturity is established .

    Article 479

    A case shall not be heard if left by the predecessor then by the successor thereafter , if the total of the two periods reach the period prescribed for its non admittance .

    Article 480

    The period of prescription barring the admittance of hearing the case is calculated in days ; the first day does not count and prescription is completed when the last day is at an end , unless it is an official holiday , then it shall extend to the following day .

    Article 481

    1 – Prescription barring the admittance of hearing the case is interrupted whenever there is a lawful excuse barring claim of the right .

    2 – The period within which the excuse still exists shall not count in the calculation of the prescribed period of prescription .

    Article 482

    If some of the heirs do not file a case claiming a right to their decedent , within the period prescribed for its hearing , without a lawful excuse and , the remaining heirs have such an excuse , the case shall be heard on prorate a basis of the latter’s shares in the estate .

    Article 483

    Prescription prescribed for barring the non – admittance of hearing the case shall be interrupted by an express or tacit admission of the right by the debtor .

    Article 484

    The period prescribed to bar the hearing of the case is interrupted by a court claim or any legal proceedings instituted by he creditor claiming his right .

    Article 485

    1 – If the period prescribed to bar the hearing of the case is interrupted , a new prescription period shall commence and shall have the same duration as that of the former one .

    2 – The right of whatever kind is not subject to prescription if adjudicated by a final unchallengeable judgment .

    Article 486

    The prescription barring the hearing of a case in which a right is claimed shall extinguish claiming the accessories of this right even if the period of prescription prescribed to claim these accessories is not completed .

    Article 487

    1 – The plea of non – admittance to hear the case on grounds of prescription may not be renounced before acquiring the right to submit such a plea . Likewise , it is not admitted to agree on a term of prescription other than that fixed by law .

    2 – Every person , who is legally capable of disposing of his rights , may renounce , even tacitly , his right to submit such a plea after being in a position to do so .

    Article 488

    1 – The judge of his own initiative cannot decide not to hear the case on basis of prescription , but this must be requested by the debtor or by any interested party .

    2 – Prescription may be invoked at any stage of the proceedings unless the circumstances show that the person entitled to raise such a plea has waived his right thereto expressly or tacitly .

  2. Remember also that you can’t travel to any of the GCC States (Gulf Cooperative Council) as long as that Warrant is active. Those states may have changed, but they include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen, UAE, and in the past Iran.


Leave a Comment