Dubai introduces digital court system to cut civil judgments 'from months to minutes'

Tanfeeth+ will give judges access to data from all Dubai departments to freeze assets or issue travel bans and arrest warrants quickly

Tanfeeth+ will link government and semi-government departments, with plans under way to expand the initiative to include federal entities.
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Dubai has introduced a new digital system to speed up legal action for all court judgments, excluding those for criminal cases and rental disputes.

Tanfeeth+ will reduce the number of steps needed to enforce a verdict that "once took months to mere minutes", Prof Dr Saif Ghanem Al Suwaidi, director general of Dubai Courts said.

"Securing a verdict is just one step towards claiming what is rightfully yours. It's the enforcement of the verdict that will help you reclaim what's yours," he added.

Shared databases

The system will link various "government and semi-government departments within Dubai", with plans under way to expand the initiative to include federal entities.

It will allow judges to access data from various government departments in the emirate to inquire about a person's assets and seize them if necessary, without having to track each entity individually. Data on bank accounts and properties will be available in the system.

"It eliminates the need to contact various entities like the Dubai Land Department or the Roads and Transport Authority to locate an individual's assets," said Judge Khalid Al Mansouri, head of Dubai Execution Court. "The platform handles everything, making it possible to identify and seize assets within minutes."

The platform was developed after "extensive fieldwork, customer feedback and employee feedback", Mr Al Mansouri said. That process "identified the gaps that needed addressing".

Tanfeeth+ also allows judges to issue travel bans and arrest warrants, with the orders "immediately reflected on the Ministry of Interior’s system".

Helping the victims

“Court proceedings are very stressful, so anything to speed up the process and allow money to be received as soon as possible is welcomed," said Byron James, a partner at Expatriate Law.

Mr James said the new Tanfeeth+ system could significantly reduce the burden on claimants by ensuring that verdicts are enforced efficiently.

“The integration of various government databases into a single platform simplifies the asset recovery process, eliminating delays caused by bureaucratic procedures. This system not only benefits those seeking justice but also enhances the overall efficiency of the legal process in Dubai.”

Receiving owed money

The disbursement of funds has also been streamlined by the establishment of a virtual bank system that links the IBAN with each case. The process allows the transfer of funds to the claimant's bank account "immediately and accurately", without court intervention.

"Previously, the funds were first sent to the court's general bank account and then transferred after several checks were carried out,” Mr Al Mansouri explained.

Tanfeeth+ also includes a notification service for asset sales. When a judge determines a property must be sold in a verdict, the system will issue a sale notification automatically, and proceeds will be deposited into the claimant's virtual account. They will later be transferred to their personal bank account.

The system will also automatically cancel procedures, including travel bans and arrest orders, once a verdict has been executed and dues have been paid. This ensures all restrictions are lifted without the need to file a separate request.

Updated: May 31, 2024, 10:39 AM