A Dundee dad left homeless and sheltering in an abandoned building in Dubai has been rescued from the streets by kind-hearted expats.
Malcolm David Faren, 63, was left alone and helpless in the United Arab Emirates city after police seized his passport amid a court wrangle, meaning he was unable to work or leave the country.
His three daughters spoke of their relief on Sunday, after it emerged Malcolm, originally from Fintry, has now found permanent accommodation thanks to a group of British men.
His youngest, Jasmin, a law graduate living in Leeds, said: “The amount of support has been amazing. I feel like I can finally breathe; it’s such a relief.
“I have been crying so much the last few days knowing he is safe.”
The family’s next mission is to get their much-loved dad back home as soon as possible.
The former technology manager, who moved to the Gulf region with the family in 1995, has never even met his first-born granddaughter Izabelle, 2, because of the nightmare situation.
His daughters, Jasmin, 25, Stephanie, 30, and Sam, 35, say his health has noticeably deteriorated recently with significant weight loss and shared images of a derelict building he called home just two months ago.
The problems started for Malcolm when he stayed behind in Dubai after wife Lisa moved to Qatar for work in 2011 and Jasmin returned to the UK.
But soon after he was made redundant and struggled to find another job in the UAE’s biggest city.
He lived with friends for several years but when they also moved away, he was homeless on-and-off and was subsequently arrested over a bounced cheque.
The family claim the owner of the villa her father previously rented tried to cash a pre-dated security cheque he’d provided upfront for a full year’s rent.
This was despite the family having already vacated and securing new tenants.
The cheque bounced and as debt is considered a criminal matter In UAE law, he was convicted before spending nine months in jail.
The civil courts then ordered him to pay 100,000 AED (£20,500) even though he no longer has a visa and is now barred from working and cannot leave the country or find legal accommodation.
More than £2,000 has now been raised by the daughters, who were growing increasingly worried for his health amid the Covid-19 pandemic, through an online fundraiser.
But they estimate a total of £30,000 would be needed to pay the debts off and get him home.
Jasmin added: “He is currently not allowed to leave until his debt is cleared, yet is not allowed to work because of this debt.
“It is a vicious circle with no end.”
She said: “He doesn’t like to worry us so he didn’t tell us how bad the situation had become.
“The abandoned building he was staying in was absolutely disgusting.
“We need to get him home now somehow.”
After hearing of Malcolm’s horror ordeal, a group of Brits have found Malcolm a permanent place to stay with a fellow Scot.
Among those to help is Chris Bradwell, originally from Derby.
He said: “We’ve paid his outstanding rent and sorted him some cash for food for the next month.
“We are also trying to help with his legal issues with help from fellas in our British community of Dads.
“He seemed happy when I saw him briefly on Saturday. Someone gave us some clothes and a can of Irn-Bru — I’m not sure what made him more happy!”
The UK Foreign Office, who the family say have failed to provide adequate help, say they have provided consular assistance on “several occasions” since 2018.
A spokesperson added: “We’re in contact with his family and the local authorities in Dubai, and stand ready to help should he require any further support.”