Skip to Content

Small claims, big success

Small claims, big success

August 16, 2017


When the DIFC Courts’ Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) was established in 2007, it signalled a shift in the region’s approach to resolving lower value, relatively straightforward commercial disputes. Rather than seeking to hear those types of cases in a courtroom with teams of lawyers and panels of judges, the SCT offered a system better suited to the scale of the dispute and, often, the circumstances of those involved.

The Tribunal’s emphasis is on finding a solution that works for both parties, so the first step is a consultation with a certified mediator, rather than a judge, without lawyers present. If an agreement cannot be reached, a hearing before a Judge will then be scheduled. The result is generally faster, cheaper and more amicable dispute resolution.

A decade on, the SCT’s popularity is undiminished, with corporations, SMEs and individuals all routinely using the service to resolve their disputes in a private, informal setting. In fact, the first six months of 2017 have seen the SCT’s workload almost double as awareness and access have both soared, while total case values are up by more than half.

Since 2011, any party in the UAE, regardless of a direct connection to the DIFC, has been able to opt-in to the SCT’s jurisdiction, if both parties agree in writing. A significant marketing campaign at the end of 2016 and new partnerships like the one signed with the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre earlier this year have ensured that more companies than ever before are aware that this option is now open to them.

The other key factor driving the SCT’s standout performance in the first half of the year is accessibility. Last year saw the launch of the “Smart SCT,” a purpose-built facility in Dubai where only the Judge need be present, with the parties in dispute able to participate from anywhere in the world via advanced video equipment. This service was recently named among the world’s Top 10 Court Technology Solutions by the US-based National Association for Court Management, and has helped to remove geographical location as a factor in a party’s ability to gain justice.

By increasing awareness and expanding access, the SCT has enjoyed a tremendous start to the year. Its performance in the first six months of 2017 cements its place as a preferred forum for settling the smaller claims of corporations, SMEs and individuals, and confirms its status as a valued public service.

Nassir Al Nasser, Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) Judge and Registrar


Privacy Policy

The Dispute Resolution Authority and all its affiliates are committed to preserve the confidentiality, integrity and availability of client data and personal information.

Dispute Resolution Authority and all its affiliates employees, vendors, contract workers, shall follow Information Security Management System in all the processes and technology.

  1. DRA's Top Management is committed to secure information of all our interested parties.
  2. Information security controls the policies, processes, and measures that are implemented by DRA in order to mitigate risks to an acceptable level, and to maximize opportunities in order to achieve its information security objectives.
  3. DRA and all its affiliates shall adopt a systematic approach to risk assessment and risk treatment.
  4. DRA is committed to provide information security awareness among team members and evaluate the competency of all its employees.
  5. DRA and all its affiliates shall protect personal information held by them in all its form.
  6. DRA and all its affiliates shall comply with all regulatory, legal and contractual requirements.
  7. DRA and all its affiliates shall provide a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan encompassing the locations within the scope of the ISMS.
  8. Information shall be made available to authorised persons as and when required.
  9. DRA’s Top Management is committed towards continual improvement in information security in all our processes through regular review of our information security management system.