As part of ‘The Debt Panel’, The National published an article about a Dubai aviation industry employee earning AED 9,000 per month, and struggling to repay a total debt of over AED 170,000.

I work in warehouse and logistics coordination in the aviation industry earning almost Dh9,000. I have seven credit cards, which have been maxed out, and a personal loan. In total my liabilities are Dh170,000. I first moved here from the Philippines in 2011 and brought my family here in 2014. I started taking on credit when I first arrived, applying for a loan to settle a debt in my home country and to cover expenses here. But because of carelessness I started spending heavily on my credit card and took out more cards. I used the new cards to pay the minimum off the other cards. Then some friends borrowed money and promised to pay us back but they never did, so now we have no money to pay off our debts. I have visited my bank to apply for a debt consolidation loan but it was not approved because I have too many cards and my EMI is not meeting the requirements. Bank collectors are chasing me now because I have missed two payments on my cards. I want to negotiate with the banks that issued my credit cards but I do not know how to approach them about the situation I am in. I am afraid they will call the police and send me to jail. I am willing to pay all my debts and want to pay an amount that I can afford according to my earnings. A year ago I paid Dh2,000 to a debt consultant and issued a post-dated cheque for Dh13,000 to be collected once the debt is settled. But until now nothing is resolved. My wife will also begin work on April 1. For the last two months I have been unable to sleep and eat as I am so afraid –I don’t have money to buy food for my wife and children. What should I do?

Here is what Ambareen Musa, one of the debt panelists and Founder & CEO of, had to say.

Starting with the harsh truth, which you too should know by now: with seven credit cards and a personal loan amounting to Dh170,000 in total debt, and a family to raise in the UAE, your salary is just not enough to cover all your liabilities.

Addressing the more difficult part first, have you thought about sending your children back to the Philippines? You can arrange for them to stay with their grandparents for a year or two while you and your wife work towards fixing your debt situation here. The stark difference in the cost of living alone would help you save significantly on childcare costs. You and your wife can also move to a smaller accommodation here to save on rent.

For full article go to The National.