x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Fine-owing travellers can now pay court dues at Dubai Airport

People banned from travelling because they owe money in civil court cases will be able to pay their dues at Dubai International Airport as they leave the country.

DUBAI // People barred from travelling abroad because they owe money in civil court cases can now pay their dues at Dubai International Airport as they leave the country.

Previously anyone trying to leave the country who had outstanding dues would be stopped at the airport and referred back to the court to pay.

They would then be held for three days after making the payment.

Under the new system, which authorities plan to expand to all UAE airports and borders, they can now pay the fine or compensation at the airport's Emirates NBD bank office and have their travel ban immediately cancelled.

The Civil Court issues financial penalties to an estimated 35,000 people every year, and the new system is designed to speed up the payment process.

"Before this move, a person would be stopped at the airport and miss his flight but now, one can pay a fine through the bank with cash, by using a credit card or even by a certified cheque, and then fly," said Ibrahim Al Hosany, head of cases department at the Dubai Courts.

Passengers with unpaid dues will be referred to the office of Emirates NBD bank where they can pay, said Mr Al Hosany.

They will then be given a receipt which they can hand to the passport officers who will send a copy of the receipt to police and cancel the travel ban.

Dubai Courts, in cooperation with the Naturalisation and Residency Department and with Emirates NBD Bank, announced the service at a press conference yesterday. It has been in operation for the past few days.

The Government is investigating whether the new system should be extended to fines issued in criminal and misdemeanour cases.

salamir@thenational.ae