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  • Detained in Dubai

“Success makes you vulnerable in Dubai” with “no dirty trick off the books” says group

Updated: Dec 29, 2020

The UAE invests a great deal in media advertising; marketing the country globally as a desirable tourist destination and hub for business. It can be disconcerting because one can be looking at an Emirates advertisement on one side of their newspaper, while reading another UAE tourist horror story on the other. Dubai will host Expo 2020 this year, showcasing entrepreneurship, business and development opportunities, despite being one of the riskiest places to invest in the world.

Over the past decade, we have seen unimaginable, blatantly lawless conduct from local business partners, sponsors, lawyers, and from the ruling families themselves. Foreign investors have served lengthy prison sentences after being levied with false allegations, ostensibly designed to neutralise them while predatory business associates can pick off their assets.

It’s no secret that Dubai is one of the world’s most prolific money laundering hubs. While quite disturbing to the FBI, the US has long turned a blind eye to Dubai financial mis-dealings in favour of a stronger political alliance in the Middle East. In return for this “friendship”, the world’s leading countries have remained supportive, even if it is to the detriment of citizens.

Despite the fact that Dubai’s shaky economy has seen two major crashes in the past decade, foreigners continue to gamble with their capital, and with their freedom, in the gulf nation. With intensified media coverage on the risks of traveling to and investing in Dubai, common sense seems to be overshadowed by the marketing-inspired hope of riches and luxury; the country is a modern Ali Baba’s cave that draws people with the promise of treasure, but too often traps them as soon as they taste success. “I never thought it would happen to me” is a common response amongst Dubai investors victimised by the endemic legal abuse that defines the UAE’s business culture.

Over the course of 12 years in the real estate business in Dubai with his company Aston Pearl, British citizen Priyesh Patel had built a successful life and a business with a strong reputation, surviving the market downturn and still Aston Pearl survived despite many competitors going out of business. He had a loyal list of clients who trusted his judgement and he was well respected amongst his peers. Real estate is a tough business, but with hard work and a solid reputation, it’s a business that can be very lucrative.