View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Monday, May 25, 2009

Thousands Skip UAE Without Paying Debts While Honest Ones Pay Dearly

AMEInfo reports (25 May 2009) that some banks in the UAE are seeing up to 2,500 customers leave the country each month without paying off their credit card bills.

Most of those leaving without settling their credit card bills were linked to the construction sector in Dubai.

While the number of ‘skips’ has leveled off in the past two months, banks are bracing themselves for a new wave of ‘skips’—those who have lost their jobs or are deciding to call it quits but are waiting for their children to finish out the school year.

Honesty the Best Policy
Then there’s Rasheed’s story. He came to the UAE in 2007 and, thinking he was going to be here for a while, he bought a new Honda CRV (pictured). Unfortunately his father got ill necessitating the need for Rasheed to give up his job and return to Brazil.

When he recently returned to the UAE to sell his car, he found the Honda dealers would only give him Dh66,000 and he still had Dh109,000 to pay back on his car loan!

Rasheed encountered all sorts of argy-bargy from the car dealer and the bank. While he was away he had left his car to friends who unbeknown to Rasheed had clocked up over Dh3,000 in fines that Rasheed had to pay before transferring the registration. To cap it off the Honda dealer then asked Rasheed to pay the deregistration fee of Dh360!

It is worth reading his detailed saga at Rasheed’s World entitled, ‘Leaving the UAE is Expensive.’

Disengaging from the Emirates is almost as complicated as getting established and about as expensive. One starts to see why scores of people are leaving their unpaid car and cards at the airport as they exit, yet Rasheed’s consolation was the knowledge that he was leaving the UAE with a clear conscience and a clear record.

Getting Harder to Trust
On a related theme it is worth reading the recent post (10 May 2009) from ‘A Canadian in Abu Dhabi’ entitled, ‘It’s Getting Harder to Trust Living in a Place that Clearly Does Not Trust Me.’

Read this story (by another journo), about the huge deposits she was asked to put on the counter to buy a car and a Blackberry with international roaming.

Read how her flatmate was stung with a huge fee for disconnecting the phone.

Read all the other stories of woe that people are leaving in the Comments section.

Pick up a Free Audi, Porsche, BMW from the Dubai Airport, ETE, 11 February 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound