Dubai tycoon launches initiative for debt prisoners

Al Habtoor chief seeks to reunite families with those imprisoned for debts, alimony
Dubai tycoon launches initiative for debt prisoners
Lieutenant-Colonel Marwan Abdul Kareem Julfar, Brigadier General Ali Al Shamali, Major General Expert Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri and Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor.
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Wed 04 Apr 2018 02:12 PM

Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor has launched a new initiative alongside Dubai police to assist prisoners detained in Dubai because of debt or inability to pay alimony in divorce settlements.

The ‘Reunion’ programme will work to reunite families separate by detention, and will provide financial aid to settle the debt of certain prisoners with the ultimate intention of releasing them from jail so that they may secure a job and provide for their families.

“Detention is not always the best solution,” said the Al Habtoor Group founding chairman. “A child needs a father at home, a wife relies on her husband to be a role model or to provide for the family.”

In cases of alimony, Al Habtoor added that “a father who is in prison due to lack of funds cannot provide for his family if he is in jail. He needs a job to earn a salary so he can meet his obligations.”

The chairman added that in some cases circumstances may not be conducive for business success, resulting in a lack of liquidity and the inability to pay what’s owed.

“You must learn from your failures as much as your successes. I am a great believer in this. I have failed in business several times in the past. This is what made me stronger and more determined to succeed,” he said.

Among the external factors that Al Habtoor identified for businesses failing are things such as the global financial crisis, teaming up with the wrong partner, or hiring untrustworthy people.

This is unavoidable at times. As human beings, we always see the good in people. Past failures should teach people to always be cautious,” he said. “Don’t over committed or over borrow. You have to take risks in business, but only calculated risks.”

Banks, he said, “also have to take their share of responsibility” by not over-lending and conducting thorough due diligence for loan applications.

“I am launching the ‘Reunion’ initiative because I believe people should be given a second chance,” he added. “As long as they are disciplined and are honest human beings with sound business practices. Decisions will be taken on a case by case basis.”

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