How To Resolve Business To Business Disputes In Dubai UAE – Know The Legal Process
The Business Protection Department (BPD) is a newly established branch of the Department of Economic Development (DED) of Dubai, dedicated to resolving commercial disputes in the UAE. It was set up in answer to the growing need for a suitable method of assisting businesses with facing commercial issues raised against each other and arriving at an amicable settlement. This is a concern that cannot be overlooked as commercial disputes do not fall within the purview of the present dispute resolution authority, the Commercial Control and Consumer Protection Department (CCCPD), resulting in the aggravation of supposedly trivial matters arising among businesses.
The responsibilities of BPD are the provision of a “National Dispute Settlement Service” in Dubai and the dissemination of educational information to businesses.
As a dispute settlement service provider, BPD attends to the complaints of entities holding a Dubai business license. As an educational authority, BPD organizes workshops and conferences and even distribute literature to increase business literacy among Dubai-licensed entities.
Being a sub-department of CCCPD, the jurisdiction of BPD is limited to disputes between businesses licensed in Dubai and having a minimum capital of AED 200,000/- and its only objective is to assist the Dubai Courts. Thus, it is considered as an Informal Resolution Body.
In line with this, BPD can mediate between international traders if they have a DED license or branch license in Dubai UAE.
Furthermore, the disputes addressed by BPD are only those relating to commercial concerns. Hence, disputes on insurance, banking, real estate or labor matters are not included.
Lastly, BPD does not serve as a tribunal as it was established to mediate between businesses licensed in Dubai in order for them arrive at acceptable agreements.
Procedure for Filing Complaint
There are three ways companies with a DED license or their representatives can file a complaint with BPD – through email, through calls or manually by visiting a DED branch of CCCPD. Supporting documents must be provided and a non-refundable fee of AED 2,020/- must be paid.
Once the complaint received, it will be reviewed by BPD lawyers who will determine if the case filed is within the jurisdiction of BPD. BPD lawyers will also assess if the dispute can be resolved by BPD acting as a mediator or referring the matter to another suitable authority.
Should the complaint be found acceptable by BPD arbitrators, the concerned persons will be contacted for the initial conference which can be conducted through phone call or a personal meeting. It is important to note that the parties are not required to be present in Dubai at the time of the Mediation Conference.
The processing time for case resolution is ten business working days, but there could be an extension based on the requirements and exigencies of the case.
Judgments and Appeals
Decisions made by BPD are final and cannot be revoked or amended by filing an appeal. However, the parties are not restricted by these decisions as they are discretionary and not binding. Both parties have the option to bring the matter before relevant judicial authorities.
The method of resolving disputes applied by BPD can be considered as necessary approach rather than a formal procedure. Reliable technical knowledge and an adept understanding of the disputes are the basis of the decisions passed. Furthermore, since the time of its establishment, BPD has successfully handled cases, but precedents are not involved in the decisions passed.
For businesses engaged in commercial activities, DED still remains as the main licensing authority in Dubai. BPD is a sub-department with the capacity to block or temporarily suspend the license of entities registered with DED. BPD also has the authority to impose penalties including fines on parties should they fail to attend a mediation conference or comply with the decisions passed by BPD after their acceptance of the mediation process.
Businesses can seek the help and advice of legal consultants in Dubai for a better understanding of the roles, jurisdiction and processes of BPD.