Dubai businesses increasingly using mediation to settle commercial disputes

Dubai constructionNumber of mediation cases rose nearly 50 per cent in the first quarter. (Image source: Chris Combe/Flickr)Mediation is emerging as a preferred method for businesses to settle commercial disputes in Dubai, according to figures released by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry's legal services department

Jehad Kazim, head of legal services, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Khaleej Times that it received 127 mediation cases valued at about US$4.9mn in the first quarter of 2018, up 48.4 per cent.

The department has received 1,829 mediation cases valued at about US$14.2mn between 2015 and 2017, or about 600 cases a year on average.

"These figures reflect a growing trend among businesses that are turning to mediation as an alternative, quick and effective option for settling their business-related disputes. Mediation provides businesses with several advantages as it offers a practical and easy way of settling disputes amicably and efficiently. It is an ideal mechanism for businesses to resolve their disputes as it is confidential, quick and cost-effective compared to arbitration and litigation which can often be costly and lengthy in nature," Kazim said.

Among the mediation cases, 70 per cent of them related to construction, while freight and shipping, services and other sectors accounted for the rest.

According to Dubai Chamber, non-payment of dues, payment delays, goods not conforming to specifications and breach of contracts are among the most common reasons for commercial disputes. 

"We have seen a strong uptick in demand for our mediation service in recent years, as more businesses become aware of the unique benefits and advantages that this service offers," Kazim said.

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