Dubai: The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday announced the final preparations for the launch of a first-of its-kind online mediation application service in the region.

The launch, which will take place on the sidelines of Gitex next month, will make the Dubai Chamber one of the few unique e-service providers in the world by offering value-added services to its customers through this user-friendly system which will save them considerable time and costs in settling commercial disputes.

This bilingual online service, available in English and Arabic, allows applicants to submit their mediation requests and relevant documents followed by the payment. Users have the option to track new and previous applications electronically, making the Dubai Chamber the first in the Middle East to offer this feature that facilitates the settlement of trade disputes through mediation.

“The launch of this unique online service comes in line with the Chamber’s commitment to offer best services and products that meet the needs and requirements of the business community, while also enhancing their competitiveness in the global market,” Hamad Bu Amim, Director General, Dubai Chamber, said.

“Now, more than before, businesses are looking for fast and cost-effective measures to resolve their disputes and this first-of its-kind fully online service will greatly help the users save their time and efforts in resolving commercial disputes,” he said.

Advantages over litigation

The importance of mediation lies in the fact that it is a confidential process and comes at a low cost as compared to litigation. It focuses on the interests of both parties and is a much less aggressive process than litigation or arbitration, thus offering a win-win situation for all parties involved.

Dubai Chamber has been working towards developing new services since last year. The Chamber launched a new initiative to assist its members in drafting business formation contracts while ensuring these documents are clear, fair and valid and do not endanger the legitimacy of the business.

The commercial disputes handled by the Dubai Chamber rose 230 per cent from 1996 to 2010. It received 205 mediation cases in 1996, this went up to 337 in 2000, 379 in 2005, and jumped by a large margin to 1,009 in 2010, and later reduced to 878. This shows the growing awareness of the business community in realising the importance of mediation as an alternative means to settle trade disputes.