Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 16 September 2019

UAE legal Q&As: can I leave the country without paying off my debt?

A reader asks what the penalties are for leaving the UAE without paying off their debt and another asks if they can leave at all

If I leave the UAE with outstanding debts to pay in the country can I be forced into paying off my debt while living in another country? What would the penalties be for leaving the UAE without paying off my debt?

In the provided situation there are two options:

1) The creditor can sue the debtor in any country they reside in before the competent courts at the country of destination to claim their debt. This is a right reserved and guaranteed in the laws of all counties worldwide and the judicial claim itself shall be subject to the laws and provisions of the designated country even though the debt's terms and conditions were initially made in the UAE.

2) If the creditor has a final judgement from any UAE tribunal and there was a judicial convention/treaty between UAE and the country of destination then the creditor can claim the outstanding debt from the debtor directly before the execution department of the country of destination.

Can I leave the country if I have debts in the UAE but have started a new job and waiting for my visa to be processed?

Answering this question depends on the creditor and whether they have already started judicial procedures against the debtor.

If a criminal case was raised against the debtor for any financial claim related to any bounced cheques (for example) the debtor may not leave the country and shall be arrested in the airport.

The same situation shall be applied in case the creditor has already got a final verdict for compelling his debtor to pay the debt and an arrest order for an opened execution related to the final verdict, then the debtor may not leave the country even for visa change and shall be arrested at the airport.

In case no final verdict has been obtained yet, the creditor can apply for a travel ban order from the Court of Urgent Cases to ban the debtor from leaving the country before paying off what they owe.

If you have a question for our lawyer, please email it to newsdesk@thenational.ae with the subject line “Know the law”.

Updated: June 23, 2018 12:16 PM