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Dubai: A man arrested for credit card debt while transiting through Dubai International Airport 20 years after leaving the UAE in 1998 has been released thanks to generous Ramadan donations from two unnamed philantrophists.

The Egyptian worked in Dubai during the 1990s and was married to a Filipina woman. The couple had a baby girl, but they separated in 1998 and the mother went back to the Philippines with their daughter after an agreement with the father, who returned to Egypt.

The father used to regularly visit his daughter in the Philippines but on his most recent flight out of Egypt via Dubai last year he was arrested in the transit area for a pending credit card debt.

Dh 8.1 m

spent by humanitarian section to solve the financial problem

“He had a credit card with unpaid bills when he left the UAE in 1998 and had accumulated a debt of Dh50,000, but this was paid and he was able to return to his country after two philantropists donated cash recently to release prisoners,” said First Lietutenant Habeeb Al Zarouni, Director of the Humanitarian Care Section at Dubai Police.

The Egyptian was one of 21 prisoners released from Dubai Central Jail in Al Awir after their debts were settled by the unnamed philantropists, who had donated around Dh2 million, according to Brigadier Ali Al Shamali, Director of the Correctional and Punitive Establishment Department at Dubai Police.

“Dubai Police is keen to sign agreements with charitable institutions and double our humanitarian efforts as part of the Year of Tolerance,” said Al Shamali.

Dubai Police is keen to sign agreements with charitable institutions and double our humanitarian efforts as part of the Year of Tolerance.

- Brig Ali Al Shamali, Director, Correctional and Punitive Establishment Department, Dubai Police

The prisoners were convicted of financial crimes in commercial, debt and bank dispute cases.

Others in the same boat

Airline tickets home were also bought for the 21 inmates to fly them back to their home countries as soon as they were released.

Brigadier Al Shamali praised the philanthropists for their donations, and said that they were an example to others when it came to encouraging humamnitarian work.

The humanitarian section at Al Awir jail helped solve the financial problems of 5,485 inmates last year at a cost of Dh8.1 million.


inmates at Al Aweer jail had financial issues solved last year.

That money was also used to pay school fees for the children of inmates, rent for their families, as well as flight costs, medical bills and blood money for those involved in cases where someone had died as a result of their actions.

The section organised many initiatives for the families of inmates, such as providing clothes and school equipment to help raise a positive spirit among the prisoners ahead of their return to society as reformed characters.

Earlier this month, President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan ordered the release of 3,005 prisoners serving various sentences and pledged to settle the financial obligations of the released prisoners ahead of Ramadan. Dubai released 587, Sharjah 377, Ras Al Khaimah 306 and Umm Al Quwain also released an unspecified number of prisoners as part of annual Ramadan pardons.