Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More tales of imprisonment and Catch 22 in Dubai


Another cautionary tale of the draconian laws in Dubai and the obscene powers available to the banks in the UAE to imprison expats, from the BBC online. [TWI - thx for the link!]

The Catch-22 aspects of the UAE's immature laws with regard to debt and the absence of a personal bankrupcy law are scary indeed. More on that to come soon.

Dragon's advice on the UAE remains, as before, "Best Avoided"

BBC News

Homeless in Dubai

18 July 2010 Last updated at 03:45 ET Help
Nicholas Warner is British and sleeping on the street in Dubai. He got into a dispute with his bank, Emirates NBD, initially over whether his credit card repayments had been made.

He went on holiday at Christmas and the bank says that by leaving the country without its permission while they were in a dispute, he got reclassified as a so-called "debt skipper" - one of the many expats who leave Dubai in a hurry with large debts, never to return.

When he arrived back at Dubai airport, he was arrested. His passport was seized by police on the authority of the bank.

Although he was released and tried to negotiate with the bank he got into further difficulties.

He had been working as a strategy adviser for an alternative medicine company, but his employer decided it was safer to let him go while he sorted everything out.

Emirates NBD is refusing to let his passport be released until the debts are paid. Nicholas has no way of paying them without a job. And he cannot get a job without being able to show he's in the country legally. For that, he needs his passport.

Read more:
Destitute in Dubai: One man's story

PS: The Dragon is still on leave, like everyone else. Expect delays and occasional champagne-induced poor typography...


  1. ridiculous. i agree, avoid that concrete cess-pool of idiot tribals

  2. We had similiar situations in my home city in the West, BUT as BANKS (my Western ones) afraid of debt-skippers, they just made people lock in an investment the size of their credit. Works if they leave, gets bank extra money if they don't.

  3. UD thanks for reporting. Expatriates should not take bank loans in GCC countries. All the banks run lottery scheme, without paying any interest on SB account. In Oman funny thing is that the prizes always go to Omanis only. Rarely you will come accross with an expatriate getting these prizes.

    Hundreds of cases similar to Nicholas went unreported when the victims were poor Indians. Now a white skinned guy is involved it is getting lots of attention.

  4. The case may be quite real, it seems plausible etc; however the guy looks as if he is playing up sleeping rough for the Beeb , only one thing to wash in the hand basin, looking quite plump (no sign of malnutrition) .
    Of course he will get more attention from British media he is British and surely its up to the Indian media to shed light on Indians plight in Dubai (though the British press also do a good deal of that /
    the Beeb link is the web version of a prime time current affairs program & The Independent is a major (ish) national paper)

  5. Rule of thumb: Never EVER give up your passport to a company. Or employer. It IS yours. Stand by that. I don't know why people don't. If my company needs it I find out why and convince them to let me go do it instead. I don't depend on my embassy to save me.

  6. Being Omani,it hurts me when you say that dubai has draconian laws.If thats is the case why british going to dubai. And those expart who dont win Bank draws.Dont bank with local banks, anyway you spend less here and remit your money to your home country.No Tax, no draconian British Law. We are proud of the developments in dubai. Western countries couldnt achieve what the did in 30 years. Thats is the secret of why all this bullshit is being written about Dubai.

  7. Dragon "Expect delays and occasional champagne-induced poor typography...". I too, have a champagne appetite, unfortunately, I have only a beer budget.

  8. Anonymous, its good to be proud of what Dubai has achieved.
    But to say that “Western countries couldn’t achieve what the did in 30 years” is unfortunately not correct
    London was burnt down in 1666 80% of the City was destroyed in 4 days (more 30% of all the people were made homeless) and was re-built within 40 years .
    In the 19th Century London’s size increased by 6 times, (from 1 million in 1800 through to 3.2million in 1845 and reaching almost 7 million at the start of the 20th century ) to make it the world’s largest city – with so many firsts (the first underground train system etc) to cope with the expansion.
    In the 20th century, the German bombing of London in the 1940s destroyed or damaged over 1 million homes in London – but yet again London was rebuilt .
    Therefore as you can see, London the capital of a small island, has achieved many times what you say “Western countries couldn’t achieve” and I am confident that the Germans will report to you that their cities have also been rebuilt after similar horrible destruction .

  9. Anon July 30, 2010 2:12 am: OMANIS don't pay taxes EITHER:p sooooooooooooooo that is no good excuse for expats that bank with Omani banks not winning the large cash prizes.

    And no one mocked Dubai's achievments here, sigh. Only the policy of using credit and not having funds to cover their own debts, YET, AT THE SAME TIME, being IN DEBT THEMSELVES punishing others in debt in a rather unreasonable way (a way that provides a real solution to NEITHER party). BTW, such LOANS (based on interest/riba ect) ARE not allowed for Muslims. Ect....... so why defend those who loan money in a way that isn't allowed for Muslim Omanis ANYWAY??????

    And if you are Omani, you are likely Muslim, so don't swear. BTW "b**s*it" is a swearword. Sorry to sound like your mama/umi but just because you are saying it in English doesn't make it any less of something you arne't supposed to do.

    UDD: Sorry for my usual rant. I prefer to love all Omanis for the sake of this country lol, and some make it an interesting thing to attempt to do LOL.

  10. Well it is funny how people think and behave when they leave their home countries. If you are not happy with the rules and regulations in the GCC just go home!!! You people couldn't find jobs that's why you've chosen to come to the UAE or couldn't avoid paying taxes,u got: tax-free salaries,too much sun,no public transportation only 4x4,jags,landies that you will never dream of at home...just abide by the law,be grateful and don't get yourself into trouble by trying to be smart! This has nothing to do with the simple-minded people that you might had to deal with,not the religion that you know NOTHING about!!! Muslims can swear if they want, do what they want and one day they'll decide to do more in their home countries invaded by white lockusts who are not happy with what they have!!!

  11. Oh Anon Aug 10, 2010 7:18 AM: If ignorance is bliss, you must be the happiest person in the world.

    But don't talk about Islam and Muslims and throw in cuss words. It is OFFENSIVE TO MUSLIMS (PRACTICING ONES) in general.

    Khalas, some people aren't worth one's breath. Afterall, I am fasting.

  12. @Princess: indeed it is a bless!!! In every society people are free...(up to their understanding of the matter) then nobody can say don't swear/use cuss words... Coz neither you or me are going to judge them on the Doomsday!!! Behind closed doors I was a witness of so many things said and jokes laughed at...religion,politics and society are inter don't drift away from the main subject, xpats are enjoying it but when there is a case where one of them/group is to abide by the law,it is a pbm!!! All non Muslim as you said are not allowed to swear!!GREAT what about the cuss words used by so many non Muslim? Is there any religion that tells it's followers u can swear...??? Am not sure...double standards in politics are the magnified behavior of people like you... Sorry nothing personal...

  13. LOL @ Anon: What double standards do I have? I was just speaking about you and I, as Muslims.

    And cussing from anyone, regardless of their religious dictates, just shows frustration at their own inability to communicate effectively and convincingly the side they have taken.

    As a Muslim, and you claiming to speak for Muslim, I find you SWEARING offensive, as you are speaking FOR ME. If you would do so, I ask you do so with Islamic Decorum, is ALL.

    To UDD: Am sorry I am soooooo off topic now.


If you wish to post anonymously, please pick a nickname by selecting the Name/URL option, or at least sign off your comment with one! I will delete comments I find objectionable or needlessly inflammatory. Sorry for the word verification.... OMG the spam has gotten BAD these past 12 months... trying to avoid making one log in...