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Value of claims at DIFC Courts surges 692% in H1 2023

Dubai's main Court of First Instance saw 52 cases filed at a value of AED14.9 billion Wam
Dubai's main Court of First Instance saw 52 cases filed at a value of AED14.9 billion

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts said the value of cases across all divisions recorded a 692 percent year on year rise to AED15 billion ($4.08 billion) across 455 cases filed in the first half of 2023.

A total of 52 cases valued at AED14.9 billion were filed in the main Court of First Instance (CFI), with an average case value at AED427.2 million. 

Cases within the arbitration division under the CFI recorded a significant increase in the first six months as total value reached AED12.9 billion and an average claim value of AED1.6 billion, the UAE state-run WAM news agency reported.

Justice Omar Al Mheiri, director, DIFC Courts, said that the DIFC Courts is currently operating on a 2022-2024 roadmap, which includes a strategic work plan that brings more national cohesion to the courts’ projects and initiatives in line with the D33 economic agenda and the Dubai digital strategy.

The surge in uptake of the DIFC Courts’ public services reflects the growing awareness of, and trust in, the expertise, efficiency, and ease of process, he added.

Claims brought before the CFI involved companies and businesses across various sectors, including banking and finance, real estate, construction, manufacturing, retail, hospitality and maritime.

The operational capacity of the region’s first small claims tribunal (SCT) remained strong in H1 2023, with 242 claims filed and an overall claim at AED19.8 million. The average claim value of cases filed was AED85,000.

The DIFC Courts issued 100 percent of orders and judgments digitally, with over 794 orders in the first six months of 2023 and a further 86 judgments issued for the same period. 

In addition, 98 percent of hearings in the CFI were conducted remotely, while the SCT and the Court of Appeal recorded 100 percent remote hearings.

The Wills service registered 766 wills, a 37.8 percent increase in registrations year on year. Since its inception, the service has registered over 9,500 wills.

Launched in 2015, the wills service was established to enable non-Muslims investing and living in the UAE to pass on their assets and appoint guardians for their children as per their wishes.

The DIFC Courts last year launched new specialised rules for its digital economy court division. It intends to facilitate the efficient resolution of digital economy disputes by standardising the use of smart forms to provide information through a dynamic, artificial intelligence-driven platform.