What happens if you leave UAE without settling unpaid credit card dues
Know your legal rights in the UAE
Question. I left Dubai two years ago leaving some unpaid amount on my credit card. I was in financial trouble and unable to pay then. Now, I am planning to come back to Dubai to look for a job. Will I get arrested at the airport? Do I have to contact the bank and settle the amount to avoid arrest?
It should be noted that in the UAE at the time of granting a credit card facility to the customer, the banks or financial institutions (the 'bank') may collect a cheque from the customer as security against the credit limit of the credit card facility granted in addition to a signed application form which may contain the terms and conditions of the credit card facility. Based on the documents executed by you, the bank may have collected from you a security cheque as guarantee against the credit card facility provided to you along with signed application forms which contains terms and conditions of a credit card facility.
Therefore, once you had defaulted in payment of credit card dues to the bank, it may have deposited your security cheque for collection. If the said security cheque was dishonoured by your bank due to insufficient funds in your bank account, the bank may have filed a criminal complaint against you for dishonour of the security cheque. It should be noted that the dishonour of a cheque in the UAE is a criminal offence. Upon filing of a criminal complaint against you by the bank, there may be a travel ban already imposed upon you and as you are outside the country, your name may be in the wanted list of the UAE authorities owing to which you may be detained when you re-enter UAE.
However, if the criminal complaint is filed against you in the emirate of Dubai due to dishonour of security cheque then as per the provisions of Dubai Law No. (1) of 2017 related to criminal order if the security cheque amount is lesser than Dh200,000, the punishment may be a financial penalty which may vary between Dh2,000 and Dh10,000. Upon payment of this financial penalty, your name may be removed from the blacklist by the UAE authorities. The criminal court where the case has been registered against you may also close it.
It is recommended that you contact the bank and request them to provide you with the details of criminal case and civil case (if any) that may have been filed against you. Further, you may also request them to provide you with the settlement amount if you intend to settle the credit card balance with the bank. Upon payment of settlement amount to the bank, you may request them to issue a ‘No Dues Certificate’ and request them to withdraw the criminal case and civil case (if any) that may have been filed against you. Thereafter, upon confirmation from the bank that the cases that may have been filed against you have been withdrawn, you may travel to Dubai. However, it is recommended that you carry with you the copy of ‘No dues certificate’ and criminal case and civil case clearance confirmation provided to you by the bank.
For further clarifications, you may consult the bank’s legal department and/or a legal practitioner in the UAE to avail more professional advice.
Know the law
Upon filing of a criminal complaint against a defaulter of credit card by the bank, there may be a travel ban imposed upon him
Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: email@example.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.
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