A Dubai based debt management consultancy has revealed that around 70% of its customers are now defaulting on loans and that the average debt being carried by clients is $136,121.
Managing director of ISDM financial consultancy, Yohannes Mazeingi, said that most of the debts stemmed from consumer and not business loans, but that his clients were not ‘dishonest people’ and had simply been ‘caught out’ by the global economic crisis.
Mazeingi said that UAE banks were more open to considering debt consolidation and repayment plans than previously and that they stood to receive ‘zilch’ if they didn’t negotiate with customers.
The company has more than 3,000 clients, although five per cent of their customers have skipped the country rather than face the consequences of their debts. In Dubai, it is a criminal offence to bounce a cheque and the punishment can be a prison sentence. It seems to be a frequent case that foreign expats leave the country if they can’t repay their debts even if it means loosing a job in Dubai.Sarah O'Connell, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market