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I live in the middle east, and two weeks back I left a negative factual review on a certain hostel in Abu Dhabi. They gave me a scare threat today, saying that they will file a police case for this. I responded by blocking them. They responded with contacting another one of my family member with the same, stating that blocking them would only increase the problem.

Is what they say really correct? Does blocking communications with those giving legal threats make things worse?

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    Possible follow-up question: Will I face any legal action if I expose a hostel that sends dodgy legal threats after I left a negative review? :-)
    – mcalex
    Mar 20, 2023 at 9:19
  • @mcalex Let's hope such dodgy hostels do not have deals with organised crime...
    – gerrit
    Mar 20, 2023 at 9:28
  • What does "blocking" mean in this context? Mar 20, 2023 at 16:40
  • Social media blocking @TobySpeight
    – Babu
    Mar 20, 2023 at 16:40
  • Ah thanks. I've never done a social media unless you count SE, so not familiar with the term. Mar 20, 2023 at 16:41

1 Answer 1

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There does seem to be a meme in the UAE of people threatening legal action for negative reviews, as a form of defamation. The police will simply tell them that this is not a crime, go hire a lawyer if you want to sue them. If you block them, perhaps they don't have any other way to contact you (seems that was the point of blocking them), which means that you cannot receive their offer "If you pay us AED 1,000 we will not sue you", which could be a problem if they win their court case. Still, it is perfectly legal to ignore or block them, up to the point that you are actually served with legal papers. When they actually sue you, "blocking" is irrelevant, they will hire a process server to hand you the legal papers that command you to appear in court.

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    are we assuming UAE follows Western conventions regarding things like process service? are do we know it to be true? You're giving advice which may, or may not be true... UAE law is ... convoluted, to say the least. see this
    – CGCampbell
    Mar 20, 2023 at 16:43
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    We know, for example, that there are professional process servers in UAE. I'm not even assuming that the rules for process servers in UAE are exactly the same in the US vs the UK, but close enough. UAE legal procedure is not starkly different from western conventions, which is convenient for foreign people doing business there.
    – user6726
    Mar 20, 2023 at 16:44
  • OK, just wanted to be sure
    – CGCampbell
    Mar 20, 2023 at 16:49
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    There are countries where legal papers can be served by pinning them to the courthouse wall, if all else fails.
    – o.m.
    Mar 20, 2023 at 17:49

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