Credit card defaulters of the day, Dubai edition

By Felix Salmon
May 28, 2009

The flipside of all those abandoned cars at Dubai airport — assets left behind by foreigners leaving the country for good — is the abandoned liabilities they’ve left behind on their credit cards:

Some UAE banks are seeing up to 2,500 customers leave the country every month without paying off their credit card bills, a number that could rise in June, a senior RAK Bank official said on Sunday…

RAK Bank recovers around a quarter of the debt that goes unpaid as a result of one of the customers leaving the country, Martin said.

I’m surprised the recovery rate in these cases is as high as 25%, frankly: chasing down debtors who live abroad is non-trivial and always expensive. But then again, I’m sure that many of the credit card balances in question are pretty enormous: as Julie Sherrier notes, Dubai is known as something of a shoppers’ paradise. If the credit card debt rises into six figures, which I’m sure it does on occasion, it’s be worth fighting for.

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