The practice of fleeing Dubai with debts outstanding is one that has become well known in the world news in recent times, and that of people felling to the UAE to escape debts in other countries equally so, yet it has recently been announced that lenders in the UAE have been engaging British debt collecting agencies to chase those who have fled the region without settling what is outstanding.
Anyone who believes that they can leave their debts behind is in for a shock, as Michael Collyer, of Global Credit Solutions – a major collections company with offices across the world – told Arabian Business recently:
“From a debt collection point of view, a debt is payable anywhere in the world, wherever it has arisen. Just because a debtor moves country does not remove the responsibility for the debt.”
The problems begin with the court process in the UAE, and the complex legal questions surrounding debt that are a hindrance to the collections process. Reema Ashraf, of Adash and Partners in Dubai, shed light on the problem in her comments to Arabian Business:
“A court judgment in the country of origin of the debt is not automatically enforceable in the UAE unless there is a bi-lateral reciprocal treaty permitting exactly that. If there is no such treaty, then you would essentially need to litigate from scratch in the UAE and bring a claim for unpaid debt. The UAE Courts would have jurisdiction simply by virtue of the fact that the debtor is resident here.”
The difficulty in enforcing collections has so far been a deterrent, yet it would appear that the introduction of these major companies dedicated to surmounting the problem is a major step forward.