Legal Woes In Dubai

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Legal woes in Dubai Nov 22, 2009
Hey all. This is just an FYI. As some of you here know, I have been through H in an H cart the past year here. XTY knows the drill, as do a few others. Anyhoo, I have been in a legal battle to get the money owed to me from my previous jagoff employer. The battle has been long and has sucked hard but I had a realization this past week.

Being through the ringer can drain you emotionally and financially. This is just to let you know that when it comes to employment cases I know the following:
-Al Tamimi and the "big ones" will not represent the employee, as the employer is way easier to suck bigger money out of.
-I have been fortunate enough to have some friends at Galidari that will take on the employee case for a tidy sum of 25k down, then a blank check for 10% of the winnings (my case is very winnable). If you are that flush, I can put you in touch.(I am not that flush)
-non GCC nationals cannot represent you in court, they are merely legal consultants that will cost you between 1000-1500 AED per hour.

Save your cash. I am so grateful to a local person that has done all the running around for me and has been a general "BS filter" for me. If you go the court route for your money, keep in mind that legal translations are minimum of 100 AED per page. That means a 2 line email is 100AED. This alone can kill you (my shipping docs are 15 pages long!)

I have been to mediation at MoL twice and court nine times this year (and guaranteed two more minimum with no appeal). After a while, it becomes a cakewalk. What is awesome is that I have spent 12k in the past year as the plantiff and my ex-employer has paid (my best guess) about 60k in defense. Rarely here in Dubai is anyone awarded court fees, so don't sweat that.

I just saw a new "I need a lawyer thread" so thought I would pipe up. If you don't know the system and don't speak Arabic, forget it. Give up. If you need to get pointed in the right direction, save a few bucks and see a consultant and ask for the straight goods, but be organized. Make sure they speak your language though.

There is no "Law and Order" type trial and court here is just a match of wits and who-knows -what (many times the judges don't). The paper exchange can be nauseating and annoying. If anyone knows of a support group for shafted employees or would like to start one let me know. A place where folks can share thoughts, facts and phone numbers. I would be happy to meet and discuss with others contemplating or involved in legal battles.

Any takers?

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Nov 22, 2009
Excellent and informative write up Dawg.
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Nov 22, 2009
Good luck DD.

I rest my case. The process is still going on, it's been 4 months now excluding appeals. But I'm depleted already financially and moreover I still couldn't nail a job/visa to stay here longer. I'm stepping back and going back to home country next week, with NOTHING in hand (even I had to pay the fines and my own ticket home!).

**** Tec0mFZA (as the sponsor) who threatened me for action if I didn't cancel my expiring visa despite I have pending case! They don't care at all, they're all in favor of employers. They said court is court, immigration is immigration, separate entities. Their claim is that you MUST cancel the visa within 30 days after you submit Labour Dispute application (a clause on online form) and then MUST exit the country. HTF we can finish court case within 30 days??? It doesn't make any sense. It's ridiculous rule! If one could get another job/visa within that 30 days then you can continue the case, but if not then in ALL cases the employees would be always the losers (as they will need to exit the country and miss all the hearings)! I fed up with how the system here. There's no protection to employees. I really wanted to write to Sheikh Mo or someone, but how/where to?

And how stupid is my ex employer who are preferring to pay lawyer the high fees rather than to pay my settlements (which now probably the same amount I asked from them and how much they spent on lawyer & legal translations). What an idiot!

As for lawyer, with my past experience, for this labour case I decided not to use lawyer. I don't have that money to pay 20K+ for the lawyer. Moreover knowing how bad the performance/service of the lawyer and how the court system works (documents exchange, translators available at hearings), you really don't need lawyer. If the case is not really complicated, you could study the law by yourself ( And the only thing you need is a LOT of cash to make lots of legal translation of documents/proofs and survive living here for 3-12 months until the case is finished including appeals. See if it's worth it or not to fight for!

PS: oh by the way, DD, last time my ex employer gave 100+ pages of documents (which some are not related to me). I replied with 32 pages of documents. I spent thousands of Dirhams on legal translation for every hearing session. It's just not worth it!
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Nov 23, 2009
Sadly on civil matters in all countries courts and lawyers only work for you where both litigants have equal financial strength . In the UAE corruption is a factor as is in many other countries.

On criminal matters the more money you have the better your chances of beating the system unless you do something really really stupid and embarrasing to the system.
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