By Neil Halligan
New court is designed to fast-track tourists who find themselves in trouble in Dubai
Dubai Courts has announced that it will establish a new court to deal with cases involving tourists who have committed petty offences.
New tourists’ court, as well as a new misdemeanour court for residents that will deal with minor offences, will begin operations later this year, according to officials speaking at the launch of Dubai Courts annual report.
Mohammad Abdul Rahman, a director of Dubai Courts, told 7Days newspaper that the new tourists’ court will petty crimes, which are a common occurrence in the city.
“Tourists come to Dubai every day and sometimes they are involved in minor problems, such as consuming alcohol, drink-driving or bouncing cheques,” he said.
“We don’t want to make them have to stay on because of that, so we will have a specialised court for tourists facing minor cases. This will speed up the procedure.”
The misdemeanours’ court will similarly speed up the process for residents in the emirate.
The three Primary, Appeal and Cassation courts in Dubai recorded a combined number of 118,077 cases in 2014, an increase of 14 per cent over 103,847 cases in 2013.
The number of civil cases registered in the Dubai Courts rose 13 percent and the number of criminal cases registered in the Dubai Courts increased 15 percent.
I think it is a wise decision. The "strict" rules of the UAE can come as a surprise to some tourist who are used to travelling to the common "charter-destinations". As a former tour guide in Dubai, I think this initiative (if it really work as planned) will increase the image of Dubai as a place where tourists are in danger of getting locked up for minor offences. I look forward to following this project!