Dubai: A new misdemeanours court to handle cases involving tourists will be set up soon to look into minor crimes committed by holidaymakers. It will hold swift trials keeping in mind their visit visa’s expiry date.

The Dubai Courts Department [DCD] will set up the new misdemeanour court later this year, said Mohammad Abdul Rahman, DCD’s Head of Personal Status Section, on Tuesday.

“We also aim to launch the Family Court [personal status matters] at Al Garhoud in addition to the swift appeal initiative,” said Abdul Rahman, during the launch ceremony of DCD’s 2014 annual report.

Addressing DCD’s top judges and sections heads in his keynote speech, Taresh Al Mansouri, DCD’s Director General, said: “Such a misdemeanour court [that handles petty crimes committed by tourists] is meant to speed-track their court proceedings without unnecessary delay. It falls within DCD’s strategy to satisfy its clients.”

In response to a Gulf News question about the ‘tourists’ court’, Judge Mohammad Mubarak Al Saboosi explained: “When tourists commit minor crimes [such as bounced cheque cases, traffic offences, drinking and the punishment for which could be a fine] the aforementioned court will hold swift trials in order not to delay tourists and get them stuck here pending trials. Obviously, tourist visas have a limited time frame. The swifter the trial, the more satisfaction and trust we gain among tourists.”

According to the 2014 annual report, DCD marked a 14 per cent increase in the total number of cases registered in three courts [first instance, appeal and cassation], including 13 per cent in civil cases and 15 per cent in criminal cases

“The report shows a remarkable improvement in performance indicators across all of the courts’ sections, highlighting the developments and transformations experienced over last year. It confirms the commitment of DCD to continue the progress and excellence in serving customers and increasing the community’s confidence in the emirate’s judicial system,” said Al Mansouri.

Abdul Rahman said the report also reviews the extent of development and implementation of the objectives of the 2012-2015 strategic plans designed to strengthen confidence in the judicial system, enhance the efficiency of internal performance, and attract and develop highly efficient and active human resources.

The number of civil cases increased from 54,208 in 2013 to 60,963 in 2014, while criminal cases increased from 49,639 in 2013 to 57,114 in 2014, according to Abdul Rahman.

The report also focused on the annual performance indicators for judicial business “which showed a marked increase in the volume of business, a significant development in the fast settlement of claims and transactions with reduced rate of stand-by time, and improved accuracy of the implementation of the judgements of the three courts — primary, appeal and cassation — which raised the customer satisfaction level up to 92.3 per cent according to the results of the Dubai Government Excellence Programme”.