Dubai courts open for tours and public's verdict

In a bid to enhance trust in legal processes, the emirate's courts picked up on a Twitter follower's suggestion for tours of the judicial system¿s workings.
Dubai Courts organise regular tours of the building and justice system to underline its commitment to transparency. Christopher Pike / The National
Dubai Courts organise regular tours of the building and justice system to underline its commitment to transparency. Christopher Pike / The National

DUBAI // Have you ever wanted a close-up look at the courts system - without becoming a part of the process?

Now you can. Dubai Courts is organising monthly guided tours for the public to provide an insight into the justice system after a suggestion by one of the department's Twitter followers.

The initiative, called "Twitter Visit" ,aims to enhance trust in the legal system and underline its openness and transparency.

Although aimed mainly at the 4,000 Twitter followers of Dubai Courts, any resident or visitor to the UAE can also take part.

"The move is important for reiterating our open-door policy and our keenness to reach the public and have an exchange with them on their issues and concerns," said Ahmed Saeed bin Hazeem, general manager of Dubai Courts.

"It is also an opportunity for those interested to learn more about the UAE legal system."

Tours will take place on the final Wednesday of every month and last for two hours. Guides will speak Arabic, but translations in English and other languages will be available.

A video will show viewers the stages of development the courts have gone through since first being established at Al Naif fort. The video will also feature commentary by legal experts and senior court and law enforcement officials.

Mr bin Hazeem will meet participants and give them an overview of how the courts and the wider judicial system work.

"They will also meet a judge who will talk to them about his work and the challenges and difficulties he faces," said Mr bin Hazeem.

Participants will have ample opportunity to ask questions, he added.

"During these meetings we will be able to explain the vision behind the judicial apparatus, and why certain decisions or procedures are taken. We will explain why sometimes procedures are delayed.

"These conversations will create a higher level of transparency and will serve our open-door policy," he added.

He said that many people following the courts' Twitter feed had called for greater public access, but the suggestion of one follower, Ali Al Naqbi, had been a particularly powerful catalyst for change.

Mr Al Naqbi, 37, a Sharjah resident working at the Ministry of Interior, became active on Twitter about a year ago, and he has been closely following the Dubai Courts Twitter feed ever since.

"I noticed that many Twitter followers were interested in knowing more about Dubai courts, the way they operate and their achievements, including people from other GCC countries, so I came to think of this idea which was quickly picked up by the courts general manager who is personally very active on social media," he said.

"I believe that government entities should interact with the public, especially on social media, and this is something which Dubai court officials are becoming good at."

To register for a tour, email, visit the court in person, or call the court on 04-3030680 during office hours.

Published: August 30, 2013 04:00 AM


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