In many respects, the UAE is a prosperous country offering exciting financial opportunities for expats from all around the world. But, let's face it; living in the UAE can also be very expensive, and operating a small business in such a competitive market often requires serious, ongoing investment. With relatively easy access to credit cards and personal and business loans; It is very easy to find yourself sinking rapidly into an overwhelming whirlpool of debt.
According to a recent report, the debt burden in the UAE is equivalent to Dh348,000 ($95,000) per household or $114 billion in total. In other words, if you are not in debt in the UAE, you are the rarest possible exception. As easy as it is to fall into major debt, it is even easier to fall into circumstances that make it difficult to keep up with consistent payments; and, unfortunately in the Emirates, the inability to meet financial obligations can be a criminal offense that will land you in prison.
Creditors in the Emirates have tremendous leverage, and with debt collection agencies like Tahseel, Trust, and Bilkesh, they also have almost unlimited reach. Despite claims to the contrary and several inaccurate reports in the local media, the UAE has not decriminalized debt. If you cannot make your payments, your bank will file a civil case against you, and if you are unable to pay the court-ordered fines, you will go to jail. A criminal case may even be brought against you alleging that you fraudulently contracted loans and lines of credit with no intention to pay them back. Once the matter has moved to this stage, interest, late fees, fines and court costs will be added to your initial debt, and you will find yourself owing several times more than you ever borrowed; a $5,000 claim can become as much as $250,000!
Many expats who face financial difficulties in the UAE, whether because of job loss or business failure, will return to their home countries and try to stabilize their finances in order to clear their debts; but the highly aggressive methods of debt collection agencies can severely interfere with this. The belligerence and harassment to which some of our clients have been subjected is shocking. Debt collectors can hunt someone down on social media, calling them at home and at work dozens of times a day, contacting their family and colleagues, disclosing private information to their employers and co-workers with the stated purpose of trying to get them fired from their jobs. Some clients, particularly in India, have literally been threatened with violence. Debt collection agencies can make you feel besieged and assaulted, badgered and threatened; they can cause emotional and psychological trauma that makes it extremely difficult to regain financial stability, as well as actually interfere with your security at work.
Furthermore, if someone has left the Emirates, and the bank files a case in court over the debt, the UAE will seek to enforce the court's judgment internationally by reporting the debtor to Interpol, and requesting extradition. They can even bring charges against a subsidiary credit card holder, and pursue them in exactly the same way.
There is no reason to be embarrassed about having debts, as mentioned above, personal debt in the UAE is massive and widespread, and anyone can find their circumstances change to leave them unable to fulfil the terms of repayment. No one deserves to be harassed and bullied, particularly when they are already enduring financial difficulties. Detained in Dubai can put an immediate end to that for our clients, and negotiate with creditors on their behalf; once you have legal representation, debt collectors have to communicate with us, and only us. Our debt negotiation team has extensive experience with every major bank in the UAE, and with the collection agencies they employ; we can successfully take over the negotiations with clients' creditors, reach a settlement, and let them get back to their lives.
Detained in Dubai can also deal with cases that have reached the stage of court judgments and Interpol notices or extradition requests; however, we strongly encourage coming to us as soon as possible to handle these matters before they escalate, and before your own stress becomes unbearable.