Transiting through Dubai Airport and owing money in the United Arab Emirates or any other GCC country may be a sure way to get arrested at Dubai International Airport.
As many as 20 Filipinos had been detained due to unpaid debt in the first five months of this year. The Filipinos were former UAE residents who were traveling to and from Europe and other Gulf countries on Emirates and had connecting flights in Dubai. They were arrested while transiting through Dubai.
Thinking about transiting means no border control. You are correct – no need to clear immigration, but the moment you fly via any airline that transits in the UAE or GCC country, you can get flagged by the Immigration. Your name is already in the system.
Just because you have a new passport does not mean your name is no longer in the system.
In the United States you cannot get arrested for owing money. This is very different in the UAE.
Those detained had unpaid debts, both loans and credit card, going as far back as 10 years ago.