Dubai’s DIFC Courts records 64% rise in cases during first half of the year

The overall value of claims rose 181 per cent in H1 2018 compared to the same period last year



The English-language Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts handled 368 cases across all divisions in the first half of this year, a 64 per cent increase year-on-year.

The overall value of claims rose 181 per cent during the same period, a statement said.

The volume of cases of the main Court of First Instance increased 29 per cent in H1, although the total value of cases fell by 70.6 per cent to Dhs2.2bn, compared to Dhs7.5bn in H1 2017. Last year’s figure was impacted by a particularly large arbitration case.

The total value of enforcement claims filed amounted to Dhs2.1bn in the first half of 2018, up 53 per cent year-on-year while volumes rose by 123 per cent to 87 enforcement cases in 2018.

The Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) also noted a 60 per cent rise in case load 240 claims, compared to 150 cases in H1 2017. The growth was driven by “greater awareness” and increasing use of technology, including a virtual court, the statement said.

Meanwhile the total value of claims increased by 120 per cent in the first half of 2018, rising from Dhs13.9m to Dhs30.6m.

Up to 80 per cent of the Tribunal’s cases have been resolved in less than four weeks.

Amna Al Owais, CEO and registrar, DIFC Courts, said: “The increase in enforcement applications highlights our ability to assist businesses through a robust national, regional and international enforcement network. We are particularly proud of the Small Claims Tribunal, which is proving a vital mechanism for the region’s SME community to access justice.”

In the first half of 2018, the DIFC Courts also signed a partnership with Smart Dubai to set up a taskforce to create the world’s first court of the blockchain. The taskforce will initially explore how to aid verification of court judgments for cross-border enforcement.

In February, the DIFC Courts also became the first in the Middle East to introduce a cloud-based e-bundling technology, to make court hearings and trials ‘paperless’. The updated Court Management System (CMS) enables judges, lawyers and courts staff to upload and access case information in various formats, across multiple locations and share with numerous users.