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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 17 July 2018

Will my father's debt prevent me returning to Dubai?

Foreign worker wants to move back but at the same time does not want any legal complications because of parent's financial issue

The question of whether a foreign worker wishing to return to Dubai is liable for another's debt depends on certain circumstances. Elise Amendola/AP
The question of whether a foreign worker wishing to return to Dubai is liable for another's debt depends on certain circumstances. Elise Amendola/AP

My family lived in the UAE for almost 15 years. My father lost his job in June 2016 and because of the market conditions he could not secure a job for almost six months.

He had a personal loan but could not pay this or his credit cards. I had to move to another country for work and my family moved back to India. Now since my assignment is over I wanted to move back to Dubai. I would like to know if I can be held responsible for his debt? I want to move back but at the same time don't want any legal complications because of my father.

TC, KSA

My understanding is that the outstanding debts are in TC’s father’s sole name and so he is the person who is legally responsible for them. Only the person who has borrowed the money, or both parties if a debt is in joint names, has liability for the repayments. Another party is only responsible if they have stood as a guarantor for a loan but that is not a common situation in the UAE.

I have started a new job under a limited contract in an LLC company in Dubai which pays me Dh12,500 per month. I am a science graduate. If I am terminated by my employer during the probation period can I join another LLC company based in Ajman on a higher wage? Or will I get a ban? If I do get a ban what can I do to get around it as I need to work? Do I have to pay anything?

KK, Dubai

Employment bans tend to be less punitive than in the past but will apply in certain circumstances, especially when someone leaves a job of their own accord. In this case, KK is asking about bans if he is terminated, or made redundant, and no employee should receive an employment ban if they lose their job through no fault of their own, no matter how long they have been employed.

The employer is not required to give notice of termination during probation and rights to other benefits or the usual compensation for breaking a contract do not apply. The employer must however, pay the employee in full for the time worked.

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Read more:

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Will I receive less UAE gratuity for resigning before three years?

The Debt Panel: 'Can I defer my debts if I was made redundant and my employer did not pay me?'

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I own an apartment in Dubai and the mortgage will soon be repaid in full. I am planning a move back to my home country of Canada later this year but I do not want to sell the apartment at this time. I do not know if I will return to the UAE to live and may want to sell it in a few years’ time. Is there a way of doing this without coming back to the UAE? It’s a long way and expensive so can I give a good friend authority to handle a sale on my behalf? I don’t want to give anyone full Power of Attorney over my affairs, or access to my bank account, so can someone just deal with the property sale for me? How can I set this up?

ER, Dubai

A Power of Attorney is a written legal document that gives someone authority to act for another person in legal or financial matters. It is possible to arrange a Power of Attorney that relates to just one issue but it will need to be worded carefully so that it properly covers the complete topic, doesn’t cover other areas, and will be accepted by all relevant parties. It is not uncommon for a Power of Attorney to be used in connection with real estate when one or more parties is not present to deal with a transaction, especially in the UAE where there are many overseas investors. This is usually known as a Special Power of Attorney and can be limited in scope and/or timeframe. In the case of the sale of a property in Dubai, the Land Department will take the original on the day of sale, providing further protection.

The person appointed needs to be of the required legal age, so at least aged 21 in the UAE and, if in relation to a property transaction, they must not be a registered real estate agent. As the representative is being given full authority to act and make decisions, it is important that there is full trust and the confidence that they will act in the right way as any decisions or actions that they take will be legally binding.

In the UAE, a Power of Attorney can be arranged via the Public Notary, or via a lawyer in a registered practice. It must be fully certified and attested legally by the relevant government authorities. If someone is resident in Dubai this will usually be the Public Notary but if they are outside of the UAE, it must be legalised in whatever country they are based, and then also the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UAE. In Dubai a Power of Attorney is usually valid for a period of two years only.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and Senior Partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 25 years’ experience. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com. Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE.

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only.