Detained over Etisalat Bills
If you have opened an Etisalat subscription in the UAE as a resident expat, make sure you close your account before you leave the country.
Over the past six months we have noted a trend in the Emirates of people being detained over past due Etisalat bills. Even if you are just transiting through the airport, you may be apprehended, charged, and imprisoned for up to several months. Overdue bills could previously simply be paid at the airport, but around six months ago, the government changed the law, now unpaid utility bills are dealt with exclusively by the Public Prosecutor's office; even if the amount is only a few hundred Euros.
It appears that the UAE is compensating for the drop in oil prices by intensifying its pursuit of unpaid bills and other debts to supplement state revenues, even if it means jailing people for past due mobile phone charges.