A British man who was left homeless in Dubai for three months following legal problems is on his way back to the UK.
After a torrid time, and with help from a number of sources, Nicholas Warner has reclaimed his passport from Dubai authorities and is able to make his way back home.
Mr Warner was working in Dubai for an alternative medicine company as a strategy adviser. However he became embroiled in a dispute with his bank, Emirates NBD, over credit card repayments and was subsequently labelled a ‘debt-skipper’. Dubai has recently been clamping down on foreigners who are said to rack up large bills and then leave the country without paying them.
Mr Warner left Dubai for a holiday over Christmas but when he returned he was arrested at the airport and his passport was taken from him so that he couldn’t ‘debt-skip’. From there began a downward spiral, with arrests not looked on kindly by Dubai employers Mr Warner was swiftly fired from his job, leaving him in an even worse position.
Now with no job he had no way of paying off his debt, and since the authorities had confiscated his passport he had no way of proving he was allowed to work in the country so he was unable to find a new job.
Mr Warner was then said to be in contact with the bank with a view to coming to an arrangement, however he said that the stipulations attached to the offers were untenable.
Soon his plight became more public and he received assistance from a number of groups and fellow expats. Eventually the bank was bypassed and a sum of £8,000 was paid directly to the UAE courts, enabling him to take back his passport, and thus he was able to buy a ticket back to England.
Speaking to the BBC Mr Warner said: “I wanted to pay my debt, if the bank had let me get a job back when all this started, it would have been paid off weeks ago. I've got to get on with my life now.”
Emirates BND also issued a statement, insisting all their actions were in line with UAE law: “All actions by the bank in this matter have been in accordance with prevailing UAE laws, and in line with the contractual agreement signed by the customer who was unable to meet his commitments and approach the bank for appropriate settlement of his dues.”