Dubai: How Emirati woman escaped black magic trap, triumphed over Dh100 million debt


After being trapped in the dark world of black magic and sorcery, an Emirati woman endured a distressing ordeal of imprisonment, financial ruin, and an unwavering legal battle. Despite the hardships, this Dubai resident exhibited remarkable courage and chose to share her harrowing story with Khaleej Times.

In an interview with Khaleej Times, Alia (name changed for privacy) expressed her hope that her experiences would serve as a cautionary tale for others who might be enticed into a similar trap. Now in her late thirties, Alia revealed that it took her two decades to break free from the clutches of an Arab sorceress who had cast a spell on her. At the peak of her troubles, her financial liabilities skyrocketed to Dh100 million, and she now earnestly warns others about the perils of falling into such a trap.

Recently, the UAE’s Supreme Court dropped charges against Alia, brought by the sorceress’s family, for cheques and debt acknowledgements totalling Dh80 million. Alia said she wrote the cheques after being deceived into believing a terrorist group in Syria kidnapped the husband of the sorcerer and the money was needed as ransom for his release.

“In hindsight, I feel foolish to fall for such a tale, but I was under her spell, and I genuinely believed what she said,” said Alia.

Recalling how it all began, Alia said she first met the Arab woman in Ajman during her teenage years. Impressed by the soothsayer’s basic predictions, she became a frequent visitor to her house, seeking various services such as palm reading, witchcraft, and coffee reading.

“She claimed to have supernatural powers. I was awestruck as she interpreted symbols formed by coffee grounds to predict the future and shed light on an individual’s current situation,” said Alia.

“At first, I paid for her services, but it quickly escalated to cover her rent, fines, and household expenses. By a conservative estimate, I would have given them up to Dh4 million. Sometimes I paid in cash; at other times, I transferred the money to her husband’s account,” Alia shared, providing evidence of some of these transactions.

In 2013, as the Daesh conflict peaked, the sorceress claimed the terrorist group kidnapped her husband. Alia was asked to write cheques totalling Dh27 million and debt acknowledgements worth Dh80 million, believing they would serve as negotiation tools with the kidnappers.

“She told me she would use them to show the kidnappers that the money was being arranged. I did what I was told. I wanted to save a life, and if a few pieces of paper could help, then so be it,” said Alia.

To her shock, the sorceress filed a case against Alia, exploiting the cheques and debt acknowledgements she had signed in good faith without knowing they were part of an elaborate deception.

On March 21, 2018, Alia was arrested, and she spent 18 agonising days in a Sharjah prison due to the case brought against her by the sorceress, demanding Dh80 million. Alia said that the sorceress considered her a golden hen but decided to kill the golden hen to get all the eggs simultaneously. “Their greed made them blind, but it opened my eyes,” she recalled.

Broke, burdened with bank loans, and sinking into depression, Alia was on the verge of despair until Emirati lawyer Hasan Ali took up her case. Hasan Ali, managing partner of the law firm Hassan and Partners, said: “When I met Alia, she was in bad shape. She didn’t even have money to pay the court fee, let alone hire a lawyer.”

Despite the seemingly devastating settlement, the efforts of Hasan Ali led to a court-ordered reinvestigation into the case. After a lengthy legal battle, the case of Dh80 million against Alia was dropped.

“The sorceress attempted an appeal, but she lost, and the matter was taken to the federal court in Abu Dhabi,” said Ali. Earlier this year, the UAE Supreme Court ruled in favour of Alia, stating she doesn’t have to pay anything.

Alia said, relieved by the turn of events, “Justice has prevailed. My life is still in shambles, but I am picking up the pieces. I want my story to be a powerful warning about the dangers of falling for black magic.”

Lawyer Hasan Ali stated that Alia’s case was difficult and tricky since the sorceress trapped her into signing cheques and debt acknowledgements totalling over Dh100 million. “It was a fierce and tough battle, but in the end, justice prevailed, and the court vindicated Alia, declaring the debt acknowledgements null and void,” he said.

The lawyer stressed the significance of combatting fraud and scams in the UAE, encouraging everyone not to lose hope, as justice will inevitably prevail, no matter the duration of the battle.

Last week, seven people in the UAE were sentenced to six months in prison and fined Dh50,000 for practising sorcery, deceiving others, and claiming to possess 400-year-old jinns that could heal people. The UAE law, under Federal Decree-Law No. 31 of 2021, punishes such activities with significant penalties.