DIFC Courts launches GCC’s first smart Small Claims Tribunal with support of Alpha Data
Turnkey project built on Microsoft infrastructure enables claimants to access justice from outside UAE
UAE, October 10, 2016 – DIFC Courts has collaborated with Alpha Data, one of the UAE’s leading systems integrators, to launch the GCC’s first smart Small Claims Tribunal. The pioneering ‘smart’ court is a turnkey project built on Microsoft infrastructure and works by providing both parties in dispute, as well as the judge, access to the case from remote locations on smartphones and computers.
The newly introduced smart court is fully equipped with video conferencing technology that enables individuals or small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to participate in hearings from anywhere in the world.
Commenting on the launch, Amna Sultan Al Owais, Chief Operating Officer at DIFC Courts said: “The ‘smart court’ initiative is a major step towards DIFC Courts’ vision of becoming the world’s leading and most innovative commercial court by 2021, in addition to supporting Dubai’s bid to transform into a smart city. This development will also greatly increase confidence in Dubai as a progressive and world class centre for business.”
According to the current court procedures, the parties in dispute along with a judge have to be present at Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) during hearings. Via the new technology, however, all parties concerned, such as business owners who travel extensively; tenants who have departed from the UAE; and employees both in and out of Dubai with contract issues, can resolve their disputes by remotely attending their consultations and hearings.
“Successfully overcoming the limitations of geographical boundaries, the GCC’s first ‘smart court’ has effectively strengthened DIFC Courts’ position as the region’s most innovative commercial court. Alpha Data has a key role to play in this significant development. Our collaboration involved the reconfiguration of the court room on a completely scalable technology platform in line with the Dispute Resolution Authority’s (DRA) roadmap and their compliance requirements. We supervised the entire migration process required of such reconfiguration – a process we completed in a short span of time without any impact to users. Going forward, we look forward to many more similar successful partnerships in which we can provide technological support for path-breaking initiatives,” concluded Murugesan Vaithilingam, Services Director at Alpha Data.
DIFC Courts created the GCC’s first Small Claims Tribunal in 2007, which has grown popular among the UAE’s SME sector. While it handles cases with a limit of up to AED 500,000, there is no ceiling on employment cases, provided parties agree to opt in. In the first half of 2016, the total value of claims increased from AED 7 million to AED 9 million year-on-year, indicating that claimants are responding to the new higher threshold for case values.
Alpha Data is the UAE’s leading system integrator with a proven track record of over 30 years. It supports a wide range of customers across the country with its broad portfolio of Managed and Professional Services. Alpha Data maintains partnerships with many of the world’s leading technology providers, including HP, Cisco, Citrix, Microsoft, Belden, Autodesk and Adobe, to name a few.