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Charging loan interest could get you fined Dh50,000

Charging interest on money that other people borrowed from you could get you in legal trouble in the UAE.

Under the UAE law, only licensed financial institutions regulated by the UAE Central Bank are authorised to lend money with interest.

The UAE Criminal Law imposes a Dh50,000 fine and a minimum jail term of one year on violators: “Any person who lends another physical person a loan for an interest rate in return for late payments, and that is in any type of civil and commercial transactions, and whether said interest is explicit or implicit, shall be liable to a jail sentence for a period not less than one year and a fine not less than Dh50,000.”

The law also imposes stricter penalties in cases that are considered “aggravating circumstance”. It states: “Any physical person who is habitually engaged in practising interest lending shall be sentenced to temporary imprisonment for a period not exceeding five 5 years and a fine not less than Dh100,000.” ICA/Expat Media

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