Dubai Chamber of Commerce launches on-line mediation application service

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce (DCC) has launched a unique online mediation service in the Middle East. The DCC assists parties to resolve commercial disputes through mediation provided that at least one of the disputing parties is a DCC member (the DCC currently has 135,000 members). The online service is available in English and Arabic, and allows applicants to submit online mediation requests and relevant documents followed by payment. The new online system will provide a boost to settling commercial disputes and will make the mediation process easier and quicker.

The number of commercial disputes handled by the DCC has risen dramatically in recent years; with mediation becoming increasingly popular (the DCC received 205 mediation cases in 1996, as opposed to 1,009 in 2010).

Dubai – compulsory mediation to be introduced

On 15 September 2009 a new ADR law was published in Dubai. This creates the Centre for Amicable Settlement of Disputes which will operate as an affiliate of the Dubai courts. Significantly the ADR law will make it compulsory for parties to first refer disputes to the centre which would otherwise be heard before the Dubai courts. The ADR Law will not apply to disputes under the jurisdiction of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) courts. DIFC has separate rules regarding ADR but does not currently compel parties to engage in ADR as a pre-requisite to litigation.