I have a debt with a UAE bank and have defaulted on the payments. The amount owed is Dh200,000. I left the UAE in February 2015 to return to Pakistan. Now I want to travel to Malaysia. My question is whether Pakistani immigration can stop me from leaving because of my unpaid debts in the UAE. My reason for going to Malaysia is for work. Once I have money again, I will start paying back what I owe. MSI, Pakistan
A debt in the UAE is usually only an issue in this country. However, if repayments are not made a bank has the right to register a police case against the individual, which could lead to arrest on entering the UAE or if attempting to leave if the person is already here. It is unlikely that a person would have any issues leaving Pakistan or entering Malaysia owing to a UAE debt, although there have been cases where a debt collection agency has been engaged to recover the debt and they have tracked people down in other countries. However, there is a question mark over jurisdiction and whether any UAE debt case is enforceable in any other country.
The lawyers I have spoken to say it is not. If MSI is still worried, he should contact the bank he owes the money to and ask what action, if any, it has taken. It is likely to be more helpful if he lets the bank know that he intends to start repaying the money that he owes.
Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 20 years’ experience. Contact her at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE.
The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only.
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