Dubai’s DIFC Courts sees increase in the number of cases in H1 2019

Case volumes and values rose in the first half of the year



The number of businesses using the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts is booming, new figures show.

Statistics for the first half of 2019, released on Sunday, reveal the total volume of cases was 463, a 25 per cent increase from the first half of 2018.

At the main Court of First Instance (CFI), the total value of cases was recorded as being in excess of Dhs2bn.

The first half of 2019 also experienced a significant increase in the number of enforcement cases. There was a total enforcement caseload of 101, a 16 per cent increase from 87 during the same period in 2018.


Credit: DIFC Courts

The region’s first Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) also saw an increase, with its caseload increasing to 321 claims – up 34 per cent from 240 cases in the first half of 2018. The total value of claims also increased, from Dhs30.6m in the first six months of 2018 to Dhs37.5m in the same period in 2019 – an increase of 23 per cent.

According to the DIFC Courts, this growth was partly driven by greater awareness campaigns through local strategic partnerships, including a cooperation agreement with Dubai Healthcare City Authority (DHCA) and the launch of the Special Complaints Referral Centre (SCFC).


Credit: DIFC Courts

DIFC Courts chief registrar Amna Al Owais said: “The first half of 2019 saw the DIFC Courts serve the biggest multinationals, the smallest start-ups, and individuals, seeking justice with equal consideration. When it comes to resolving disputes, businesses like choice and they need certainty – few rational companies would invest money, resources or intellectual property in a country with questions marks around legal protection.

“Likewise, effective commercial courts are essential enablers for local companies to thrive and have become major points of difference within the region in the race for global investment.”

She added: “Businesses and individuals in Dubai are free to choose between litigation and arbitration: common or civil law, English or Arabic language – whichever system best suits their specific needs.”


Credit: DIFC Courts

A total of 549 wills were also registered at the DIFC Courts in the first half of 2019. That brings the total since the inception of the service to more than 5,160, with more than 85 lawyers from more than 80 law firms in the UAE and overseas assisting.

Last month, the DIFC Courts announced it will now accommodate all resident and investor assets across the UAE and overseas in will registrations. Wills can also be amended for free until August 31.