Can my UAE company lodge a dispute with an international company locally?

A reader asks about resolving a contractual dispute with a Western company here in the UAE, while another asks about what proof is required to have a successful civil case against a driver who caused injury in a traffic incident.

I have a small company in the UAE and I signed a contract with an international company. The contract states that any dispute that arises from a breach of the contract has to be decided in the court of the country where the international company is based, in the West. However, the contract was signed and executed in the UAE. Is there any way to have the dispute settled in UAE courts?

Although your contract says disputes should be settled in the country where the other company is based, you still have the right to file a case in the local courts, as jurisdiction of the courts is organised by public order rules in Article 21 of Civil Procedure Laws 11 of 1992 and its amendments. The local courts would have the jurisdiction under Article 21/3 of the same law. Local courts have the jurisdiction to decide disputes filed against expatriates if the contract has been signed or executed in the UAE. As such, you have the right to file the case in local courts because the contract was signed here and because it was executed here. Bear in mind that the same rule would not apply if your contract states that disputes should be referred to arbitration centres outside UAE jurisdiction because, if it did, you would not be able to file your case in a UAE court.

I was involved in a traffic accident that resulted in injury. It was referred to the traffic court and the other driver was sentenced. However, I want to file a civil case. What do I have to prove to win the case?

With these type of civil claims, you would have to prove the following three main factors: 1, That the harmful action was caused by the driver’s mistake. If this is supported by the traffic court judgement, that would be helpful. 2, The harm done to you, and whether the injury caused moral or psychological harm or made you lose any of your potential profit and the medical expenses incurred, in accordance with Article 292 of Law 5 of 1985 Civil Transaction Law and its amendments. 3, The cause relationship between the harmful action and the harm itself. It needs to be proved that this harm was because of the harmful action and not for any other reason.

If you have a question for Mr ­Elhais, email with the subject line ‘Know The Law’.

Since publication, legal advice can become outdated due to changes in legislation.

Published: May 20, 2017 04:00 AM


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