Reda Hegazy, Senior Associate

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice-President and Prime Minister has issued, in his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, Law No. 21 of 2015 regarding the new fees of the Dubai Courts. The new law, in its first article, replaced the provisions of Articles (8), (14) and (35) of the original law with other provisions relating to non-payment of fees and the estimated value of the case, in addition to the relative fees for implementation as follows:

Not subject to fees:

According to the amended Article (8), some categories, claims, appeals, and applications are not subject to the fees prescribed by the original law, i.e. claims, appeals or applications filed by federal or local governmental authorities in the emirate or any of the emirates of the country, claims related to endowments, donations and wills for charitable works, and charitable associations, as well as claims filed by shareholders against the Board of Directors of a public shareholding company or its executive management, are not subject to fees, whenever the percentage of the company’s claimants’ share does not exceed (10%) of its total shares.

Furthermore, the fees prescribed by the original law shall not be subject to appeals against alimony judgments, a deposit by Trustee in Bankruptcy,  bidder’s deposit of the price of the property, and what the federal and local governmental authorities deposit on behalf of the concerned parties. Applications for publicity or proof of Islam, ratification of a social welfare application, and requests for death and heredity are not subject to the fee.

Estimated Value

According to the amended Article (14), claims filed before the courts of first instance, civil suits of a criminal case and claims arising out of the commercial business of more than 500,000 dirhams, excluding personal status lawsuits, shall be charged a fee of (6%) of the claim value. The amount of this fee shall be from a minimum of AED500 but not more than AED20,000 dirhams if the claim value does not exceed AED500,000; AED30,000  if the claim value ranges between AED500,001 to AED1,000,000; and AED40,000 if the claim value is over AED1,000,000.

The same article stipulates that the lawsuits arising from commercial business brought before the courts of the first instance which are worth AED500,000 or less shall be charged 6% of the claim value provided that the amount of this fee shall not be less than AED500 and not more than AED20,000, and this fee of (6%) of the claim value shall be collected from the claimant upon registering the claim. The amount of this fee shall not be less than AED 500 and not more than AED5000. This amendment is in favor of a claimant who filed a commercial lawsuit with a claim of no more than AED500,000 to pay court fees upon filing a suit with a maximum of AED5,000 instead of AED20,000 as provided for under the original law prior to this amendment.

In addition, it has been stipulated in this Article that this fee paid by the claimant shall be added to the expenses of the adjudged lawsuit and shall be collected from the convicted person by a final judgment equivalent to (6%) of the value of the judgment (and not the amount of the claim value), provided that the amount of this fee shall not be less than AED500 and not more than AED15,000.

It is noteworthy that this amendment and these fees set by Law (2) of 2019 apply only to commercial lawsuits stipulated in the new law and does not apply to civil lawsuits, precautionary attachment or orders, which fees remain the same as provided for in the original law.

Labor Lawsuits

Article (14) also imposes on labor lawsuits filed before the courts of the first instance with claim value exceeding AED100,000, a fee of (5%) of the claim value, provided that the amount of this fee does not exceed AED20,000 regardless of the claim value.

Furthermore, Article (14)  stipulates that the remaining fees prescribed in the cases and applications submitted to the courts of the first instance mentioned in Schedule No. (1) Annexed to Law No. (21) for the year 2015 shall remain unamended.

Execution of Executive Bonds

Article (35) of the amended law stipulates that the fee for the application for the execution of executive bonds shall be (2%) of the value of required execution.

If the convicted person is not in possession of the money, the applicant will be charged 20% of the fee collected for the proceedings before the courts of the first instance, provided that the fee, in this case, shall not be less than AED200 and not more than AED5000. In labor case proceedings, implementation is excluded from the minimum set for this fee, as the rate set for the implementation fee in the labor case may be less than AED 200, and the fee may be accepted, even if it is less than that amount.

Article (35) also stipulates that the executive bonds issued in cases arising from business not exceeding AED500,000 shall be charged a fee of AED2000. AED1,000 of this fee is payable by the applicant upon registering the execution file and this fee is added to the execution expenses. An amount of AED1,000 shall be borne by the convicted person upon completion of the implementation procedures.  This may help the applicant reduce the fees he pays upon registering the execution.

Reducing Fees

Article (2) of Law No. (2) of 2019 stipulates that the fees specified in clause (72) concerning bankruptcy or filing for bankruptcy protection shall be reduced, and clause (74) concerning bankruptcy protection, provided in Schedule (1) annexed to the Original Law No  21/2015 shall be AED500 instead of AED2000.

It is worth mentioning that this law was issued on the 30th of May, 2019 and it will come into effect as of 15th of April, 2019.