The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in association with the Singapore Mediation Centre, organised a seminar entitled "Mediation: An Effective Tool for Settling Commercial Disputes" at the Chamber head office on Sunday.
The seminar, which was conducted by Loong Seng Onn, Executive Director, Singapore Mediation Centre, was attended by Dubai Chamber members, business owners, legal professionals and government officials.
The seminar provided an overview of mediation, differences between mediation and litigation/arbitration and also reviewed the benefits of using alternative means of settling commercial disputes, most notably mediation.
In her opening address, Jehad Kazim, Director, Legal Services Department, Dubai Chamber, said: “Mediation, as a way for companies to resolve their disputes amicably, is a concept that is becoming increasingly popular across the Middle East, especially here in Dubai.”
Highlighting the benefits that mediation offers, Kazim stressed that it is a confidential process and comes at a low cost compared to that of the courts. “Mediation focuses on the interests of both parties and is a much less aggressive process than litigation. In a nutshell, it is a win-win situation for all parties involved,” she said.
The Director of Legal Services informed that Dubai Chamber 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, she said.
Loong Seng Onn, Executive Director, Singapore Mediation Centre, said: “Mediation continues to present itself as a better method for businesses to resolve their disputes as compared to adversarial methods such as litigation and arbitration. The numerous benefits of mediation such as control over the outcome, significant cost and time savings, confidentiality and the potential to improve relationships are compelling reasons to consider mediation before other dispute resolution mechanisms.
“The objective of this seminar is to showcase mediation to the business community of Dubai as it provides businesses with the information necessary to make an informed choice when deciding on how to manage a dispute,” added Onn.