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  • Detained in Dubai

Radha Stirling - Inspiring Business Leader 2021 Feature

The man’s voice was shaking on the telephone, “I’ve just been held at the airport, they say it is on an Interpol Red Notice from the UAE, I haven’t even lived there since 2008!” The woman on the other end of the line replied assuringly, in a tone equally professional and compassionate; even as she scrolled through dozens of emails on her laptop; each with a nightmarish story, an emergency, or a desperate plea for help.

So begins a typical morning for the founder and CEO of Detained in Dubai, Radha Stirling. For over a dozen years, foreign nationals embroiled in legal dramas with the United Arab Emirates have found comfort in her calming, authoritative voice. She promises them solutions, and delivers.

Stirling has been involved in some of the UAE’s highest profile cases, including bringing media attention to the escape and capture of Princess Latifa, the daughter of the Ruler of Dubai. But, she says, most of her work is done out of the spotlight. “At least 60-70% of our cases involve financial and business disputes between Emiratis and foreign citizens who have been cheated, extorted, or wrongfully prosecuted for fraud, when local partners exploit UAE laws and a biased justice system to their advantage,” she explains.