The survey found individual UAE residents owed an average of AED500,000 each, with Dubai residents from India and the Philippines the most heavily indebted, followed by those from Pakistan and South Africa.
Men are also more likely to be in debt than women, with only 25% of those who admitted being in debt female.
Yohannes Mazeingia, managing director, ISDM said: “The lack of stringent credit ratings polices and the culture of consumerism has lead to huge bad debts in the Emirate.
“A recent client survey revealed that the average individual debt is around AED500,000 in United Arab Emirates. This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed before it goes out of hand.”
ISDM launched in the region early this year and works with a number of regional banks to help individuals and small businesses reduce their debt burden.