Dubai: A draft law to establish a real estate arbitration and reconciliation centre has been sent to the Executive Committee for approval by the Dubai Land Department (DLD), Sultan Bin Mijren, director-general of DLD said on Thursday.
He was speaking at a session on alternative dispute resolution during the third and last day of Cityscape Global on Thursday.
The property dispute resolution centre is expected to save time, effort and cost of going through the courts, Nasser Suleiman, head of the legal centre at DLD, said. Currently, property-related disputes are heard by the local courts and at the Dubai Property Court. But a final resolution could take months as it moves through the various courts of appeal.
Since 2009, 6,500 property disputes were resolved through settlements, Sulaiman said but would not reveal recent figures.
Another panel during the seminar discussed the way forward for property dispute resolution in Dubai.
The training and accreditation of the resolvers is vital because the procedures occur behind closed doors and public confidence depends on the competence of the people running the system, said John Fletcher, head of Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Middle East.
The government must also raise public awareness on the availability of the system, he added.
“To succeed, arbitration needs an underlying updated legal infrastructure and this means the relevant civil procedure codes must be replaced by modern arbitration laws that the judges can then apply,” said Alec Emmerson, a consultant with Clyde and Co.
The real estate sales and purchase contract should also include clauses that clearly state a dispute resolution procedure, listing mediation and arbitration as solution before going to court, panelists agreed.
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) can help with social and economic stability, but it is necessary that the system is trustworthy and ensures the fairness of the resolvers, said Marwan Bin Ghalita, chief executive of Rera.
The speed, cost, quality of service and ensuring the agreements are binding are the keys for ADR to succeed, he said.