x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

How can I check if my friend is banned?

Have a problem? Been treated unfairly? Our consumer advocate is on the case for you.

A friend of mine worked in Dubai for a short time, but was made redundant with little notice, leaving him with debts he could not pay. As he then had a six-month employment ban, he was unable to get another job locally to pay off these debts. He had no choice but to leave the country. He has now been offered another job in Dubai, but is concerned that he could be arrested on arrival because of the unpaid debts. The amount is not massive - around Dh30,000 - and he is willing to pay them off once he is back and earning income. Is there any way that he can find out if he is on some sort of wanted list or "blacklist"? AG Dubai

Someone not in the UAE may give written permission for someone who is here to find out if they are on a list. You will need their full name, date of birth and passport number. Go to a police station in Dubai and ask if any complaints or debts have been lodged against him. The police will be able to tell you if that person has been "blacklisted" or if they have anything on file that could cause problems if that person returns.

I have been resident in the UAE for six years and the house that I own in the UK is let. It seems unlikely that I will move back to Britain for more than a few months before moving on again, so I am thinking of selling that house and buying one somewhere else. Would I be liable for Capital Gains Tax if I sell it before I come back to the UK? MS Ras al Khaimah As you have been not resident and not ordinarily resident in the UK for at least five full tax years, you are not subject to UK Capital Gains Tax on the proceeds. This applies both ways, as the property was your main residence, and thus Principal Residence Relief also applies for the period of ownership when you were a UK resident.

Is it legal to work while living in Abu Dhabi on my husband's visa? I know employers usually arrange the paperwork if one takes a proper job, but what if I want to do freelance consultancy work? I worked for myself before I moved to the UAE, and my line of expertise would lend itself very well to freelancing. However, I don't want to spend a lot of time or money setting up a proper company, as I only want to work a few hours each week. PB Abu Dhabi

Your options will be limited, as strictly speaking you cannot work without a residence visa and labour card/work permit - nor should you work for anyone other than your sponsor. Wives with a spouse's visa may work under their husband's sponsorship provided he supplies a No Objection Certificate, but their employer must provide them with a labour card. That said, you could work on a consultancy basis by joining a company or agency that then subcontracts you to other firms for short periods. You would need to find a company willing to take you on and provide the proper documentation. Unfortunately, as yet Abu Dhabi does not have any equivalent to the "freelance visa" available at Dubai Media City.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai. Write to her at keren@holbornassets.com Letters can also be sent to onyourside@thenational.ae