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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 16/10/2012

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Now, mediation service is just a click away for Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry members.

The chamber became the first in the Middle East when it started offering a first-of its-kind fully online mediation application service in the region from October 1, the chamber's director for Legal Services Department Jehad Kazim told Khaleej Times in an interview.

It's confidential, fast and cost effective method for the chamber's members to resolve commercial disputes, Kazim said, adding that it makes the chamber one of the few unique e-service providers in the world while offering added value service to its customers through this user-friendly method.

She explained this scribe the whole process of applying for mediation process through Dubai Chamber's website at the chamber's office. She mentioned that one of the parties should be Dubai Chamber's members.

This unique bilingual on-line service, available in English and Arabic, allows applicants to submit their mediation requests and relevant documents followed by payment. They also have the option to track new and previous applications electronically which makes Dubai Chamber the first in the Middle East to offer this valuable feature that greatly facilitates the procedures for the settlement of trade disputes through mediation.

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/arbitration thus offering a win-win situation for all parties involved, she said.

Talking about the fees, she said its minimum Dh500 to maximum Dh15,000 or one per cent of disputed amount for the members. While non-member will pay maximum Dh20,000 or two per cent of the disputed amount, she added.

She said around 90 per cent of commercial disputes' application filed for non-payment and secondly defects in goods. It takes around 50 days on average to settle a commercial dispute, she said.

"It's a win-win situation for both the parties," she said, adding that there are some examples that two parties increase their business ties after settling commercial dispute through mediation process.

She said the chamber resolves around 45 to 50 per cent commercial disputes through mediation process on annual basis. During the first nine months of the year, the chamber received 433 cases, she said.

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

Kazim said that the launch of the new on-line mediation service shows the important role played by the chamber in providing quality services while keeping pace with the developments taking place in the business world as this service will further make doing business in Dubai simple and easy.

She stressed that the alternative means of settling commercial disputes amicably is becoming increasingly popular across the Middle East, especially here in Dubai stating that the new online system will provide a boost to settling commercial disputes and will make the mediation process easier and quicker.


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