Dubai Ruler dissolves tribunal for settling disputes with home lenders

Special judicial committee was created in 2009 to protect creditors of mortgage lenders Amlak and Tamweel

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 16 APRIL 2020. Rain that fell overnight in Dubai with the possibility of ongoing showers during the day. A hazy view of the Dubai Marina canal. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: STANDALONE. Section: National.
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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, UAE Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, issued a decree on Monday to dissolve a special tribunal that was formed to settle disputes related to real estate lenders Amlak Finance and Tamweel, the Dubai Government Media Office wrote on Twitter.

The special judicial committee was created in 2009 to protect creditors of mortgage lenders Amlak and Tamweel following the global financial crisis that impacted the emirate’s economy and the property sector.

"Pursuant to the Decree, all complaint[s] and lawsuits that have been reviewed by the Special Tribunal and haven't received a final judgment will be referred to the concerned Court of First Instance at Dubai Courts," a statement on Sheikh Mohammed's website said.

Amlak and a number of other banks with exposure to the home financing market suffered when prices fell following the 2008 crisis. Defaults on mortgages forced financial institutions to book losses and made it difficult for them to raise fresh funding to continue lending.

Last year, Amlak Finance said it received approval for its debt restructuring terms from creditors holding 95 per cent of its liabilities. However, it was not able to complete the process as one of its creditors abstained from signing the deal.

Amlak is 55 per cent publicly listed, with the remaining 45 per cent owned by Dubai property developer Emaar.

The government also planned to merge Amlak with Tamweel but the process could not be completed. Tamweel is majority-owned by Dubai Islamic Bank and had more than Dh2.8bn of assets at the end of last year.

“The new Decree annuls Decree No. (61) of 2009 and any other legislation that contradicts or challenges its articles,” the statement said.