Plight of homeless Brits in Dubai worsens

Widow and two daughters living on streets as debts mount

  • The women having been sleeping rough at the airport, restaurants and even streetsImage Credit: Supplied
  • The car they had been living in for months has been repossessed by the bankImage Credit: Supplied
XPRESS

DUBAI: Time is fast running out for a British widow and her two daughters who have been rendered homeless and penniless in Dubai following a catastrophic turn of events. Unable to afford accommodation, the women roughed it out in a car for nine months after their consultancy business in Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) collapsed under a mountain of debts.

Nowhere to go

But last month their car was repossessed by the bank and now the trio have nowhere to go. “We have been sleeping at airports, 24/7 restaurants, at times even on the streets. It’s very exhausting, especially for my ageing mother Lynette, 62, who has multiple health issues, said Christine, 40, a law graduate who worked as a paralegal in the UK for six years.

The family ran into trouble after their firm shut down and their liabilities spiralled out of control. Christine hoped to clear the dues when she landed a job at DIFC in December 2016. But as luck would have it, her employer sacked her within a month when a bank started hounding her at the workplace for repayments.

“We are victims of circumstances, not criminals,” said Christine whose passport was confiscated when she was briefly arrested for a bounced cheque case recently.

“We also face legal action from the free zone authority where our company is registered if we don’t start the procedures for closing it down. We still owe the landlord rent for the business premises (the tenancy contract ended in December 2015). We also owe money on our business account for having zero balance,” said Lynette.

Christine said she and her sister Sherry, 32, desperately need jobs to put their house in order. “We are banking on the generosity of UAE residents to help us out,” said Sherry. “We are three women alone in Dubai with no friends or family, no home or money to survive and threat of being treated as absconders hanging over our heads. This is a terrifying prospect.”

If you want to reach out to the family write to editor@xpress4me.com or WhatsApp us at 056-508 9988

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