Travel Ban In The UAE

Travel Ban Info For The UAE

The UAE is a cosmopolitan hub of trade and commerce in the MENA region. The country’s strong rule of law and high living standards have attracted millions of people from across the world. Consequently, the vast majority of the UAE’s population consists of non-citizens. While this diverse and dynamic expatriate population provides numerous advantages to the UAE, one downside is the risk of people fleeing the country to escape UAE justice.

UAE Law thus provides for the imposition of a travel ban upon individuals present in the UAE under several circumstances, with the overarching goal being to ensure that all persons are held to account for their obligations under the law. The timely imposition of a travel ban, and its procedural and substantive requirements, took on renewed urgency after the financial crisis of 2008, when a substantial number of UAE residents fled the country to escape their legal and commercial obligations, particularly unpaid debts.

The most common grounds for the imposition of a travel ban under UAE Law are:

Under the Executive Regulations of Federal Law No. 6 of 1973 Concerning Immigration and Residence, a travel ban may be issued against a person:

a. Under investigation for a crime

b. In a case pending before the court

c. Owing a due debt to the Government

Under Federal Law No. 11 Concerning Issuance of the Civil Procedures Code, a travel ban may be issued by the appropriate judge against a debtor
a. “The debt [was] known and unconditionally payable,” or

b. If the debt was not of a specific amount, then the judge will make a “temporary estimation” of the same, where:

i) the creditor’s claim against the debtor is “based on written evidence” and

ii) the creditor “submit[s] a bail” which would adequately compensate the debtor for the damages the latter would incur as a result of a travel ban, if the creditor loses his claim against the debtor

While we have not discussed the topic of immigration in our explainer video, we must stress that a travel ban may also be imposed for issues related to immigration. Generally, such a travel ban prevents someone from traveling to the UAE.

How Do You Know If You Have A Travel Ban?

While there are no official portals in the UAE to verify the existence of a travel ban, the Dubai Police recently launched a service where UAE residents can inquire about the existence of one for financial crimes. This service can only be used to verify the existence of travel bans for cases registered in Dubai Police Stations only. The link to the service can be found in the description below.

Travel bans are a serious albeit regular occurrence in the UAE. This is due in part to the UAE’s position as a regional commercial and business hub combined with the country’s strong focus on ensuring the rule of law as a matter of public policy.

If you require legal assistance with regards to a travel ban, do not hesitate to get in touch with us to understand the best way forward to resolve your issue.