Dubai’s retail debt challenge

Debt management agency ISDM calculated the average debt load of its customers is AED500,000.

The agency has more than 3,000 clients on its books and about 70 percent of its customers are defaulting on consumer rather than business loans. About 5 % of the clients are ex-UAE residents who have skipped the country rather than face jail for their debts. Banks can recover 80 cents on the dollar through consolidation. Through a debt collection agency, may receive 40 cents on the dollar according to the firm’s director Yohannes Mazeingi.

Dubai-based ISDM advises clients in debt distress to consolidate their loans and negotiate with the banks. It collects a two percent fee commission based on the overall value of the debt.

Under UAE law, bouncing a cheque is a criminal offence that can result in a jail sentence.