The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department has opened a court and prosecution for cases related to tourists who visit the emirate, official news agency WAM reported.
The court, located at the Abu Dhabi International Airport, is aimed at fast-tracking cases related to tourists visiting the emirate. The initiative is hoped to complete their trials as quickly as possible, since tourists have limited time in the country.
Yousef Saeed Al Abry, under-secretary of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, said that the court, the first-of-its kind globally, will look into minor offences committed by tourists.
“The initiative will contribute to consolidating the emirate’s position as a globally sustainable tourism destination,” he stated.
Ali Mohammed Al Balushi, attorney-general of Abu Dhabi, added that the prosecution will work in co-operation with relevant authorities to provide “quality services on par with international best practices” while emphasising adherence to the rule of law through justice and upholding of rights.
“The initiative will help to create a clear database of legal issues tourists may face during their stay in the country, particularly those resulting from differences in people’s cultures and the laws applicable in different countries,” he said.
The decision to set up the tourism court was first announced in January this year by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s deputy Prime Minister, minister of Presidential Affairs and chairman of Abu Dhabi Judicial Department.
Abu Dhabi is aggressively expanding its tourism sector, and saw more than 2.25 million guests stay in the emirate during the first six months of 2017, according to the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA).
In June alone, the number of hotel guests rose by 30 per cent year-on-year, the TCA said.
Tourist figures were boosted by the increasing number of visitors from China, it added.
The UAE has seen solid growth in Chinese and Russians visitors after citizens from both countries were given visa-on-arrival access to the country late last year.