United Arab Emirates to stop jailing ex-pats for bad cheques

City A.M. Reporter
THE United Arab Emirates will stop imprisoning expatriates for writing cheques that bounce, Abu Dhabi daily The National reported yesterday, citing a senior official.

The UAE’s tough penalties for defaulting on loans, which is a criminal offence in the Gulf Arab monarchy, were relaxed for Emirati citizens in October after a royal decree.

“In line with the directives of Sheikh Khalifa... and in the spirit of fairness and equality, the courts have stopped as of last month accepting collateral cheques presented as a criminal tool against expatriate debt defaulters,” Ali Khalfan Al Dhaheri, head of the legal affairs department at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs was quoted as saying.