I’m Worried About My Dubai Debt in Scotland. – John

“Dear Steve,

You have probably heard this a hundred times Steve, but I have lost my job in Dubai and am in debt through a personal loan from a bank called Emirates NBD to the tune of AED 180,000.

My wife is pregnant and I do not want to risk jail on default so we are returning to the UK in a couple of weeks. I understand it isn’t the ‘honourable’ thing to do but my family comes first.

I understand that there is not much chance that it will go to court in Scotland but we will initially be moving in with my elderly mother until I find my feet back home. I am worried that the debt will be sold to an agency and they will hound us causing massive stress to my poor old mum.

Can you offer any advice how to curtail their advances? I understand that these guys phone up to five times a day and visit the properties regularly and can be very intimidating. Should I ignore them or confront them?

Are there any templates online that I could use to write to them?

Thanks in advance Steve, you do a great job and service!

Kind regards,


Dear John,

The reality is it is what it is. The options for working out the debt in Dubai basically come down to what you can agree to. Considering the current situation, that is probably unlikely.

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When you get home to Scotland you might want to consider changing your mobile number to avoid the calls since unless you can come to a mutually agreeable repayment arrangement with the creditor, not much else good is going to happen.

There is no reason to be confrontational. As I said, it is what it is. Being back in the UK, and specifically Scotland, gives you some consumer protections over debt you can’t pay. So using the current conversion it looks like you owe about £31,000.

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Eilean-Donan-Castle scotlandIn Scotland a personal bankruptcy is called sequestration. But what I’d do is get yourself back to Scotland as soon as possible. When you get home wait till you get a contact, if at all. If you are contacted about this debt you can contact Money Advice Scotland for specific advice at that time. You will always have Sequestration available to you if the Dubai creditor decided to push to collect the debt in the UK/Scotland.

If you follow this approach you can put the fear and worry out of your head and let’s just focus on dealing with realities instead of what ifs.

Remember, once you default on the Dubai debt you should not fly back into any of the GCC countries in case there are charges waiting for you, but people report not having any problem changing flights.

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

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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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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