BE AWARE: DEFAULTERS IN UAE MAY BE PURSUED IN INDIA

July 29, 2020

In a historical development of India and UAE relationship, UAE Judgment will be recognized and enforceable in India based on reciprocity as per the Notification issued by Government of India on 17 January 2020 (“Notification”). On 17 January 2020, Government of India published in its official gazette Notification for recognition of the UAE as a ’Reciprocating Territory’ under The Code of Civil Procedure of 1908 of India (5 of 1908) (“Indian CPC”) relative to the enforcement of UAE judgments by Indian Courts. Thus, a judgment passed by a ‘Superior Court’ of UAE can be directly enforced in India by filing a certified and legalized copy of the final and conclusive judgment. BACKGROUND OF THE NOTIFICATION India and UAE had entered into an Agreement on 25 October 1999 on Juridical and Judicial Cooperation in Civil and Commercial Matters for the Service of Summons, Judicial Documents, Commissions, Execution of Judgments and Arbitral Awards (“Agreement’). The Agreement so far only applied to service of summons, judicial documents or processes, recording of evidence by means of Letters of Request and / or commissions and execution of decrees and arbitral awards. On 29 May 2000, the instrument of ratification of the Agreement was exchanged and published in the Indian Gazette on 16 December 2000. However, until publication of the Notification in official gazette on 17 January 2020, India had only given effect to service of summons and other process under Section 29 (c) of the CPC. On 17 January 2020, the Ministry of Law and Justice of the Government of India issued a notification stating that: “In exercise of the powers conferred by Explanation 1 to Section 44A of the Code of Civil Procedure Code of 1908  (5 of 1908), the Central Government hereby declares , United Arab Emirates to be  a reciprocating territory for the purposes of the said section and the following Courts in United Arab Emirates shall be the superior Courts of that territory, namely:- Federal Courts: Federal Supreme Court Federal, First Instance and Appeals Courts in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah. Local Courts: Abu Dhabi Judicial Department; Dubai Courts; Ras Al Khaimah Judicial Department; Courts of Abu Dhabi Global Markets; Courts of Dubai International Financial Centre”. RECIPROCITY The Notification of 17 January 2020 is based on reciprocity. The judgment issued by foreign courts has no admissibility and hold no evidentiary value in Indian Courts, unless they are declared to be ‘Reciprocating Territories’ under Section 44 of Indian CPC. Section 44A of Indian CPC summarises the principle of reciprocity, i.e. execution in India of foreign decree passed by a foreign country (reciprocating) and the manner in which it is to be done. The said provision provides: “44A. Execution of Decrees passed by Courts in reciprocating territory— (1) Where a certified copy of a decree of any of the superior Courts of any reciprocating territory has been filed in a District Court, the decree may be executed in India as if it has been passed by the District Court.  (2) Together with the certified copy of the decree, a certificate from such superior court shall be […]

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Have you filed your Economic Substance Regulation notification? All Licensees in the UAE must “notify” by the 30th June deadline and certain businesses engaged in “relevant activities” must further report.

June 10, 2020

By Vida Grace and Suneer Kumar/members of the corporate and commercial practice group at Al Suwaidi & Company     PURPOSE The purpose of the Regulations is to ensure that UAE entities that undertake certain activities are not used to artificially attract profits that are not commensurate with the economic activity undertaken in the UAE. The rules of Economic Substance Regulations are broadly similar to the regulations introduced by other countries with similar tax environment (i.e. no or only nominal tax), as they follow the guidance issued and the global standard developed by the European Union (EU) and OECD. REQUIREMENT FOR ECONOMIC SUBSTANCE TEST For each financial period in which a Licensee earns income from a Relevant Activity, it will need to meet an Economic Substance Test in relation to that activity. In addition to an annual notification requirement, Licensees that undertake and earn income from a Relevant Activity are also required to file an Economic Substance Return within 12 months from the end of the relevant financial period. The Economic Substance Test requires a Licensee to demonstrate the following tests: Direction and Management Test “Licensee is directed and managed in the UAE in relation to that Relevant Activity” (Article 6 (2) (b) of the Regulations) Core Income Generating Activities (CIGA) Test That the core income-generating activities of the Relevant Activity are being conducted in the UAE. Adequacy Test – the License has the following: Adequate employees – pertaining to a number of qualified full -time employees who are physically present in the UAE. If outsourced, then adequate level of expenditure on outsourcing to a third party. Employee can either be employed by the Licensee, third party, or via temporary contract. Adequate level of operating expenditure incurred by the Licensee in the UAE Adequate physical assets in the UAE FIRST REPORTABLE FINANCIAL YEAR The first assessable period for a UAE company with 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2019 financial year, would be 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2019. The first assessable period for a UAE company with 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020 financial year, would be 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020. There is no need to comply with the Regulations for the period 1 January 2019 – 31 March 2019. SCOPE OF THE REGULATIONS The scope of the Regulations requires that where the “Licensee earns income from a Relevant Activity, they must have Economic Substance in UAE and they need to satisfy Economic Substance Test, notify and report to relevant authority”. The provisions of this Resolution shall not apply to any commercial company which is the Government of the State, or the Government of any Emirate of the State, or any governmental authority or body of any of them has any direct or indirect ownership in its share capital. WHAT RELEVANT ACTIVITIES ARE CAUGHT BY THE LEGISLATION? Relevant Activity are the following: the below listing is not exhaustive and that the list “includes the activities listed but is not limited to them.” Article 5 of the Regulations further states that the below “are regarded to be the most important activities that a Licensee carrying out a Relevant Activity […]

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IN THE UAE, IS THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS CONSIDERED AS A FORCE MAJEURE IN CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS?

May 4, 2020

The question which many in the construction industry are asking during this time, is whether the current pandemic can be deemed a force majeure event. If so, what impact does this have on construction contracts? Should parties be in agreement, is it acceptable for them to continue with an existing contract irrespective of the force majeure? It is worth mentioning that this article relates only to the effect of the pandemic on construction contracts, and in the UAE, such contracts are treated differently from others, whose interpretation may take direction from the judiciary.   In construction contracts for example, the exemption of liability is considered valid, but considered invalid in transport contracts. WHAT IS FORCE MAJEURE? According to the law of the United Arab Emirates and its established jurisprudence, force majeure is the result of an unexpected public accident or exceptional circumstance, at the time of contracting and it is impossible to prevent its occurrence or stave off its results, therefore, the fulfilment of the obligation of the contract becomes difficult or impossible.  Article 273 of the UAE Civil Transaction Code stipulates the following: “In contracts binding both parties, if force majeure supervenes, and which makes the performance of the contract impossible, the corresponding obligation shall cease, and the contract shall be automatically cancelled. In the case of partial impossibility, that part of the contract which is impossible shall be extinguished, and the same shall apply to temporary impossibility in continuing contracts, and in those two cases it shall be permissible for the obligor to cancel the contract provided that the obligee is so aware.) The provisions of the Egyptian Court of Cassation has established that to consider the “sudden accident” or “exceptional circumstances” as a force majeure, two conditions must apply: It cannot be expected, and It is impossible to prevent it. Should one of these two conditions not be met, the status of force majeure shall cease (Appeal No. 4932/Judicial 81 issued on December 22, 2018). CORONAVIRUS IMPACT ON CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS:  Construction contracts are regulated by Articles 872 to 896 of the UAE Civil Transactions Code which provides that in construction contracts, the obligations of each party and the conditions of termination or revocation must be specified terms in the contract. Therefore, in the matter of force majeure where contractual terms have not provided for force majeure, the determination and remedy shall be applied in accordance with the general rules stipulated in this Article 273 of the UAE Civil Transactions Code. Construction contracts, as with all types of contracts, impose rights and obligations on both parties. If any force majeure occurs that makes the fulfilling contractual obligations impossible, the obligation falls away, and the contract is revoked. In such instances, neither party can compel the other for compensation, because the reason of revoking the contract is not due to the default of any of the contracting parties, but rather a result of exceptional circumstances that could neither be anticipated nor prevented at the time of contracting. Notably, up to the point of the force majeure, the obligations that have been fulfilled, or what the contractor has done to date […]

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BUSINESS INTEGRITY IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC: WHAT CAN BUSINESSES IN THE UAE DO TO PROTECT THEIR PEOPLE AND BUSINESS?

April 26, 2020

During these uniquely challenging times, businesses are poised to react to sudden changes in the market. As businesses navigate through new waters, it is best to seek guidance from the authorities and methodically deal with issues that arise. The Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratization (MOHRE) has issued Ministerial Resolution No. (279) of 2020 on Employment Stability in Private Sector during the Application of Precautionary Measures to Curb the Spread of Novel Coronavirus (the “Resolution 279”). Resolution 279 came into effect on 26 March 2020, its date of issuance, and shall remain effective during the period of application of precautionary measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. It seeks to promote employment stability and to protect the interests of both employers and non-national workers. Article 2 of the Resolution 279 provides that establishments affected by the precautionary measures and wishing to reorganize shall progressively proceed, in agreement with the non-national employees, as follows: Implement remote working system; Grant paid leave; Grant unpaid leave; Temporary salary deduction during the referenced period; Permanent salary deduction Questions about the progressive application of the above-listed actions have arisen. Being a recent issuance, interpretations may vary. However, the overarching requirement in the implementation of any of these actions is mutual agreement or consent. The first two actions on the list are not controversial. MOHRE Ministerial Resolution No. (281) of 2020 Regulating the Remote Work in Private Establishments during the Period of Application of Precautionary Measures to Curb the Spread of Novel Coronavirus with the annexed Temporary Guide has been issued on 29 March 2020. Article 76 of Federal Law No. (8) of 1980 or the UAE Labour Law already gives the right to employers to fix the date of annual leave. For the last three actions, businesses must be careful not to overstep the protected rights of employees by faithfully complying with requirements set by the authorities. It cannot be overemphasized that consent from employees must be given knowingly and voluntarily. For the temporary salary deduction, MOHRE has provided a template for a temporary supplement to the employment contract. Such a temporary supplement to an employment contract shall be effective for the agreed effectivity period or for as long as Resolution 279 is in effect, whichever is earlier. Also, employers must provide the employee with an executed copy of the temporary supplement and must provide a copy to MOHRE when requested. For permanent salary deduction, employment contract details may be amended with MOHRE’s approval. The procedures are in the process of being updated, but if the existing data modification service for employers will apply, the minimum condition requires that the establishment status is private, the establishment license is valid and updated, and the original e-signature card of an authorized partner/owner is available. The establishment number, number of work card, the details of change in salary, allowances, and conditions, employee’s valid passport and residence visa, photo of the employee, and copy of the old contract should also be kept on hand. We will be monitoring updates on the procedures. Article 3 of Resolution 279 recognizes surplus in non-national workers or redundancy brought about by the implementation […]

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FOCUS: COMMERCIAL PROPERTY: Does the current pandemic give rise to claims for the non-payment of commercial rent?

April 5, 2020

The impact of the Coronavirus has been felt across all sectors, and on a global scale.  Life has been interrupted on a social and economic level.  The virus’s reinfection rate has given cause to governments and world leaders to make fast decisions on how to deal with the pandemic to avoid further contamination and spread of the disease. This has had a knock-on and profound impact on commercial businesses that rely on consumer trade. The United Arab Emirates has taken extensive measures on both a sociological and economic level. Precautionary measures to protect society include the closing of all restaurants, coffee shops and outlets providing food and drink, as well as other shops and commercial centers. Such decisions may seem extreme, however, were necessary to protect the health and safety of residents. Naturally, by forcing businesses to cease trade, business owners may find themselves still liable for rent payments, but without the necessary revenue generated from commercial activity. The solution The solution lies in the provisions of articles contained in the Civil Transactions Law of the United Arab Emirates which confirms that the rental entitlement is linked to the payment of the benefit from the leased property. Whereas, Article 750 of the same law stipulates that “the rent shall be due upon the enjoyment of use being derived, or when it becomes capable of being derived”. Furthermore, Article 781 stipulates that “the complete loss of enjoyment of the leased property shall release the lessee from paying the rent as of the occurrence of such loss.” Additionally, Article 782 stipulates that “where the full enjoyment of the leased property is prevented due to an act of the competent authorities, without cause attributed to the lessee, the lease shall be rescinded, and the rent forfeited as of the date of such prevention”. Such articles furnish tenants with rights to revoke, reduce and even not pay rent, for the duration of which commercial activities have been prevented. Therefore, where authorities have issued a temporary suspension of commercial activities across the UAE, the role of the judiciary (in the event of disputes between the lessors and tenants), is to balance the revocation or reduction or non-payment of the rent during that temporary period. Whereof, the decisions issued are temporary in nature, we find that judges may more likely allow for tenants to pay a reduced rent or zero rent during the commercial suspension period. It is less likely they will allow the revocation of lease contracts in its entirety. In conclusion, in light of the impact the coronavirus is having across all businesses, we recommend that landlords/lessors take into consideration the exceptional circumstances businesses find themselves in, and refrain from making stringent rent demands. This will safeguard the lessee – lessor relationship and such good-will would not only avoid unnecessary conflict and potential losses but will contribute to generating stronger relationships between landlord and tenant with a long-term view. Should you have any inquiries related to force majeure or the impact of COVID19 on your commercial leases, please get in touch with Wael Deyab on +971 4321 1000 or by email at wael.deyab@alsuwaidi.ae

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Force majeure in supply contracts in the UAE: Our perspective considering the Coronavirus pandemic

March 23, 2020

As the world deals with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and its implications on the economy, there is increased attention from the business and legal community on the application of force majeure on a range of commercial contracts and obligations. While contracting parties may specify remedies and outcomes in the event of a force majeure, in the absence of any such provisions, the Article 273 of the United Arab Emirates Civil Code (Federal Law No. 5 of the Year 1985), shall be applied. In bilateral contracts, if a force majeure arises that makes the performance of the obligation impossible, the corresponding obligation shall be extinguished, and the contract ipso facto(is) rescinded If the impossibility is partial, the consideration for the impossible part shall be extinguished. This shall also apply to the provisional impossibility in continuous contracts. In both instances, the creditor may rescind the contract provided the debtor has knowledge thereof. Contracts of supply, between buyers and sellers or vendors and clients, are likely affected by the coronavirus, and contracting parties may be evaluating the potential applications of force majeure and its relief on their respective agreements. How is the occurrence of force majeure determined? The UAE courts will ultimately determine what constitutes force majeure, its impact on the ability of the contracting parties to perform their contractual obligations, and the determination of fair relief to any aggrieved parties. Therefore, parties in supply contracts must be able to establish how the coronavirus has rendered it impossible for them to either fulfil fully or partially their contractual obligations. Allowing any party to a contract to avoid liability shall be the sole discretion of the court as settled in a 2011 case at the Dubai Court of Cassation. What should I do if I cannot fulfil my obligation under the contract, or where I do not receive the expected goods or services due to the impact of coronavirus (such as borders closing, movement or travel restrictions or event cancellations)? The first step would be to review your existing contract and establish if there are any provisions for relief in the event of a force majeure.  Should you find your contract is silent, the provisions of Article 273 of the UAE Civil Code may apply and the determination of the existence of force majeure, its impact on the parties and the corresponding relief shall be at the sole discretion of the courts. What remedies are available to me where I have paid for goods or services and due to force majeure, I do not receive my goods or services? In the absence of any contractual provisions, above Article 273 (1) and (2) will come into force and the parties will be restored to the position they were in before entering into the contract. In the event that this is not feasible (such as where part of the services or goods have been rendered), then the party which has suffered loss, as a result of being unable to unwind the contract, maybe awarded compensatory damages. Article 287 of the UAE Civil Code provides that if it is proven that a loss arose out […]

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Cyber Blackmailing

February 25, 2020

Cyber blackmailing is the threat of disclosing certain information about a person, or doing something to harm a threatened person if the threatened person does not respond to certain requests. This information is usually embarrassing or socially destructive. A common form of blackmail is threatening the victim to share private pictures or videos or expose classified information unless a big amount of money is paid.  Blackmailing can also be used to disclose confidential information about a company or workplace. Blackmail occurs by luring victims by e-mail or Social Media which are used by people of all ages. The victims are usually seduced by e-mail or social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and others, because of the platforms widespread reach in all segments of society. As a matter of fact, many people are making mistakes which leads them to be blackmailed by choosing weak passwords, which enables the blackmailer to access to their data easily. Some people open any links sent to them without ensuring that it is safe to open the link, and some do not use programs which protect personal data. Hence, everyone should not publish any of their personal data to the public, should not open suspicious links and should not trust strangers on social networks. People should also avoid being into video conversations and other forms of recorded conversation that may contain offensive content or with content susceptible to manipulation in order to preclude blackmail. Also, requests to transfer payments, disclose confidential information or other things that cause damages to the victim must be avoided. The UAE legislators have included the crime of cyber blackmailing within the crimes of information technology, as stated in Article (16) of Federal Decree Law No. (5) of 2012 which stipulates that “Shall be punished by imprisonment for a period of two years at most and a fine not less than one hundred fifty thousand dirhams and not in excess of five hundred thousand dirhams or either of these two penalties whoever uses a computer network or information technology means to extort or threaten another person to force him to engage in or prevent him from engaging in a certain act. The punishment shall be imprisonment up to ten years if the subject of threat is to commit a felony or engage in matters against honor or morals”. The result of the crime occurs once the perpetrator extorted or threatened the victim to force him or prevent him from doing something, since the threat by itself   is considered illegal and as long as there is fear, panic, or psychological effect due to the extortion made by the blackmailer. Article (41) of the Federal Law No. (5) of 2012 on Combating Cybercrime stipulates that, without prejudice to the right of bona fide, shall be ordered, in all instances, the confiscation of devices, programs or means used in the committing of any of the crimes specified in this Decree-Law or the money earned thereof, or deletion of the information and statements or destroy them as to the closure of the domain or site in which any of these crimes is committed whether […]

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The enforcement of arbitral awards and foreign provisions within three days in United Arab Emirates

February 17, 2020

Article 85 of the Regulations of the Civil Procedures Law issued by Cabinet Resolution No. 57 of 2018 (“Regulation”) regarding the regulations of Federal Law No. (11) of 1992 regarding civil procedures, enumerates the procedures that the applicant shall take to enforce foreign provisions, orders and bonds within the state. In addition, Article 86 of the same Regulation stipulates that Article 85 applies to the enforcement of foreign arbitration awards that are intended to be implemented within the state. Likewise, Article 87 of the same Regulation stipulates that the Execution Judge shall be granted the competence to issue an order to execute attested documents and reconciliation reports ratified by the courts of a foreign country, according to the same procedures and conditions for the enforcement of foreign rulings and orders stipulated in Article 85 of the Regulation. Moreover, in order to discern the difference between the UAE Federal Civil Procedure Law before its amendments and after the new amendments stated in the regulation, through which it facilitate execution procedures; we shall firstly present the method of implementing judgments, orders, foreign arbitration awards, attested documents and reconciliation reports, which has been ratified by the foreign state courts according to the UAE Federal Civil Procedure Code before amending it. The Procedures of obtaining the Executory judgment in the UAE Federal Civil Procedure Law before amending it: The UAE Federal Civil Procedure Law previously required the claimant to file a lawsuit, in which the claimant shall request to enforce the provisions, orders, foreign arbitration awards, attested documents and reconciliation reports, which has been ratified by a foreign country court. However, in the event that a judgment has been issued by a court of first instance in favor of the claimant; the latter cannot initiate the execution procedures until and unless the judgment is considered definitive/final, either by the completion of the appeal deadline dates, or by adjudication of the appeal with a final judgment. Furthermore, in accordance with the provisions of the UAE Federal Civil Procedure Law, the judgment issued by the appeal court can be challenged by filing a cassation case before the cassation court. The aforementioned procedures used to consume a lot of time before the judiciary system/courts in order to enable the prevailing party to commence the execution procedures of any provisions, orders, foreign arbitration awards, attested documents and reconciliation reports, which has been ratified by a foreign country court. Procedures for obtaining the Executory Judgment in accordance with the Regulation after amendments: Nonetheless, after applying the amendment included in Article 85 of the Regulation, it has become smoother and easier to enforce provisions, orders, foreign arbitration awards, attested documents and reconciliation reports, which has been ratified by the courts in a foreign country. Accordingly, the applicant shall file an “order on a petition” case to the execution judge in accordance with the conditions stipulated in Article 16 of the Regulation, in which it stated that the “order on a petition” shall include the required data of filing a case. Subsequently, the execution judge shall issue the judgment within 3 days from the date of filing the “order on a […]

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Be aware: Defaulters in UAE may be pursued in India

February 17, 2020

In a historical development of India and UAE relationship, UAE Judgment will be recognized and enforceable in India based on reciprocity as per the Notification issued by the Government of India on 17 January 2020 (“Notification”). On 17 January 2020,  Government of India published in its official gazette Notification for recognition of the UAE as a ’Reciprocating Territory’ under  The Code of Civil Procedure of 1908 of India (5 of 1908) (“Indian CPC”) relative to the enforcement of UAE judgments by Indian Courts. Thus, a judgment passed by a ‘Superior Court’ of UAE can be directly enforced in India by filing a certified and legalized copy of the final and conclusive judgment. Background of the Notification India and UAE had entered into an Agreement on 25 October 1999 on Juridical and Judicial Cooperation in Civil and Commercial Matters for the Service of Summons, Judicial Documents, Commissions, Execution of Judgments and Arbitral Awards (“Agreement’). The Agreement so far only applied to service of summons, judicial documents or processes, recording of evidence by means of Letters of Request and / or commissions and execution of decrees and arbitral awards. On 29 May 2000, the instrument of ratification of the Agreement was exchanged and published in the Indian Gazette on 16 December 2000. However, until publication of the Notification in official gazette on 17 January 2020, India had only given effect to service of summons and other process under Section 29 (c) of the CPC. On 17 January 2020, the Ministry of Law and Justice of the Government of India issued a notification stating that: “In exercise of the powers conferred by Explanation 1 to Section 44A of the Code of Civil Procedure Code of 1908  (5 of 1908), the Central Government hereby declares , United Arab Emirates to be  a reciprocating territory for the purposes of the said section and the following Courts in United Arab Emirates shall be the superior Courts of that territory, namely:- Federal Courts: Federal Supreme Court Federal, First Instance and Appeals Courts in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah. Local Courts: Abu Dhabi Judicial Department; Dubai Courts; Ras Al Khaimah Judicial Department; Courts of Abu Dhabi Global Markets; Courts of Dubai International Financial Centre”. Reciprocity The Notification of 17 January 2020 is based on reciprocity. The judgment issued by foreign courts has no admissibility and hold no evidentiary value in Indian Courts, unless they are declared to be ‘Reciprocating Territories’ under Section 44 of Indian CPC. Section 44A of Indian CPC summarises the principle of reciprocity, i.e. execution in India of foreign decree passed by a foreign country (reciprocating) and the manner in which it is to be done. The said provision provides: “44A. Execution of Decrees passed by Courts in reciprocating territory— (1) Where a certified copy of a decree of any of the superior Courts of any reciprocating territory has been filed in a District Court, the decree may be executed in India as if it has been passed by the District Court.  (2) Together with the certified copy of the decree, a certificate from such superior court shall […]

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Landlord and tenant’s agreement on the jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts with respect to the rental of real estate in Dubai contravenes public order

February 12, 2020

  The legal knowledge relating to real estate rent issues in Dubai is an important necessity that all landlords and tenants should be aware of. Especially when it is so easy for landlords and tenants to make mistake in concluding lease contracts. This article will focus particularly on the place of jurisdiction in the event of a dispute. It is necessary to distinguish between the jurisdiction of the Dubai Rental Disputes Center (Center) by considering the disputes arising between landlords and tenants in the emirate or in the free zones and the jurisdiction of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) courts with real estate located in the spatial scope of the DIFC, we clarify this as follows: Article 1: Jurisdiction of the Rental Dispute Center: The Rental Disputes Center in Dubai specializes in all rental disputes in all areas in the Emirate except for disputes within areas that have special committees or competent courts. Article (3) of Law No. (26) of 2007 on regulating relationships between landlords and tenants in the Emirate of Dubai states that the law shall be applicable to leased properties in Dubai, including open and agricultural lands. This excludes hotels and free accommodation provided by natural or judicial persons to their employees. Article (6) of Decree No. (26) of 2013 Concerning the Rental Disputes Centre in the Emirate of Dubai states that: The Centre will have the exclusive jurisdiction to: 1) Determine all Rent Disputes that arise between landlords and tenants of real property situated in Dubai or in free zones, including counterclaims arising therefrom, as well as determine applications for interim or urgent relief filed by any of the parties to a lease contract; 2) Determine appeals from the decisions and judgments that are subject to appeal in accordance with the provisions of this Decree and the regulations and resolutions issued in pursuance thereof; and 3) Enforce the decisions and judgments issued by the Centre in the Rent Disputes that fall within its jurisdiction. The Centre will have no jurisdiction to hear the following Rent Disputes: 1) Rent Disputes that arise within the free zones which have tribunals or special courts having jurisdiction to determine the Rent Disputes that arise within their boundaries; 2) Rent Disputes that arise from a lease finance contract; and 3) Disputes that arise from long-term lease contracts covered by the above mentioned. The above mentioned points clarify that public order contravenes any agreement between the landlords and tenants on the jurisdiction of the DIFC courts to deal with rent disputes outside the scope of the DIFC. Article 2: Jurisdiction of DIFC Courts: The UAE legislator has exclusively defined in the Real Property Law the jurisdiction of the DIFC to hear all real estate disputes that are within the spatial scope of the DIFC. In other words, all real estate located within the spatial and geographical scope of the Dubai International Financial Centre shall have jurisdiction in that case exclusively to the courts of the DIFC. Whereas, by reviewing the Real Estate Property Law No. 10 of 2018 of the DIFC, we find that the issue of jurisdiction has been resolved […]

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