An average case value of Dh58.3 million was recorded across CFI cases, a 25 per cent increase from 2021. Image Credit: Supplied/Gulf News Archives

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts settled 861 cases in 2022, a 15 per cent increase over the previous year, it said on Thursday.

Last year, the main Court of First Instance (CFI) recorded 121 cases, with a total case value of Dh4.4 billion, marking a year-on-year increase of 16 per cent. An average case value of Dh58.3 million was recorded across CFI cases, a 25 per cent increase from 2021. Cases related to the Arbitration Division of the DIFC Courts recorded the most substantial rise in 2022 -- the total value of cases was Dh1.2 billion, marking an increase of over 700 per cent, with the average case value recorded at Dh94 million.

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE, and President of the DIFC, said: “We are committed to the continuous development of the DIFC Courts in a way that enhances the operational environment and the legal and regulatory frameworks that ensure providing the best level of services to major international financial companies. We are working to align the Courts’ strategy with the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) in order to position Dubai as one of the most important and best financial centres regionally and globally.”

Cases brought before the CFI covered a range of sectors including banking and finance, real estate, retail, manufacturing, hospitality, and involved disputes related to breach of contract, insolvency, arbitration agreements, and employment. A noticeable increase in the number of ‘opt-in’ cases was recorded in 2022, with 60 per cent of claims in the CFI originating from parties electing to use the DIFC Courts to resolve their disputes.

Zaki Azmi, Chief Justice, DIFC Courts, said: “In 2022, the DIFC Courts not only recorded significant increases in caseloads, but also engineered the launch of new core operational services for the public. The DIFC Courts has an integral role to fulfil with supporting the DIFC and Dubai’s status as a leading financial centre. Rule of law, including commercial dispute resolution, is a major driver of economic growth. Reliable, fast, and transparent commercial dispute resolution is a key decision-making factor for international investors, creating a competitive advantage for countries that have efficient and transparent systems in place.”