DIFC Courts
  • Agreement will promote collaboration in support of projects supporting diversification and innovation of economy
  • Cooperation will also include activities across digital economy, mediation and notary services, and international outreach

Dubai, United Arab Emirates; 12 October 2023: The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts today signed an agreement with Dubai Chambers to forge a closer coalition in support of Dubai and the UAE’s economic ambitions. The agreement will promote collaboration across specific digital economy and mediation services provided by both organisations, as well as coordinated and aligned activities with international outreach.

The DIFC Courts is currently operating on a new roadmap for the years 2022-2024, which includes a strategic work plan that brings more national cohesion to the Courts' projects and initiatives in line with the ‘D33’ economic agenda and the Dubai Digital Strategy. This in turn is providing effective support for both the federal and local Dubai strategic goals.

His Excellency Justice Omar Al Mheiri, Director, DIFC Courts, said: “The DIFC Courts continues to strengthen its partner ecosystem with entities across the public and private sectors and this agreement with Dubai Chambers helps further elevate aligned strategies and shared purpose towards key goals under the UAE 2031 Vision. Whilst the DIFC Courts has developed new directives to absorb the maturing needs of the regional legal community, the original and purest foundational mandate still remains; to promote Dubai and the UAE’s geographic position in the Gulf as a significant strategic advantage for international investors - a gateway bridging those working in South and East Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and the western hemisphere.

The increasingly international nature of the DIFC Courts’ caseload is a clear signal that international businesses with interests in the Middle East region consider the DIFC Courts to be their first choice for dispute resolution, fulfilling the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to establish the city as a global hub for business.

Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, said: “We are pleased to strengthen our cooperation with the DIFC Courts through today’s agreement, which represents a significant step in further enhancing Dubai’s favourable business environment. By working closely with key partners in the public and private sectors, we aim to ensure the emirate remains a magnet for global companies and investors. We remain committed to fulfilling the ambitions of the wise leadership’s D33 economic agenda and cementing Dubai’s position as a leading global hub for business, trade, and investments.”

Dubai Chambers is one of the UAE’s largest economic development arms and serves as the engine of the emirate’s business growth. As the umbrella organisation of Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai International Chamber, and Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, Dubai Chambers advocates for the interests of the local business community, builds and reinforces international partnerships, and accelerates the growth of the digital economy.

The reputation of DIFC Courts as a safe harbour and business gateway continues to mature; the provision of an environment which business, both domestically and internationally can trust, one in which contracts can be enforced and disputes resolved fairly and swiftly, one of certainty and predictability, are all vital in achieving core strands of Dubai and the UAE’s mission.

The UAE has launched a major campaign to attract digitally enabled companies and highly skilled talent to the country. Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into the UAE also rose 10% in 2022 from the previous year to a record $23 billion, according to a 2023 UN report. According to UNCTAD, the UAE attracted approximately 60% of total FDI into the GCC bloc, which more than doubled to $37 billion.

In 2021, the DIFC Courts confirmed the launch of a new Division. The international Digital Economy Court is aimed at simplifying the settlement process of complex civil and commercial disputes related to the digital economy, reviewing national and international claims related to current and emerging technologies, including big data, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, artificial intelligence, and cloud services.

Established in 2004, the DIFC Courts is Dubai’s international English language common law judicial system and forms a key part of the legal system of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It was established with the specific objective to enable the international community in the UAE to have greater confidence in the Emirate’s legal framework and to further strengthen investment and trade relations with Dubai and the UAE.

In 2011, the jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts was extended beyond the financial centre for international businesses, thereby enabling any two parties from any global location to use the DIFC Courts by ‘opting-in’ to this neutral global jurisdiction.