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Can You File a Class-Action Suit in the UAE?

Exploring the Legal Landscape in Dubai

Imagine this: A group of passengers on a bus experiences a sudden, unexpected mishap, leaving them all with injuries and damages. In many parts of the world, these affected individuals might join forces to file a class-action lawsuit against the responsible party. But what about the United Arab Emirates (UAE)? Is the concept of class-action lawsuits viable here? Let’s delve into the intricate legal landscape and explore the possibilities.

The Current State of Class Actions in the UAE

Before we dive headfirst into the question of whether you can file a Class-Action Suit in the UAE, let’s acknowledge the present legal scenario. UAE law, as it stands today, does not specifically legislate for class-action lawsuits or outline the procedures for bringing such suits before UAE courts. This absence of legislation poses unique challenges and limitations when contemplating collective legal action.

In theory, group litigation could work in cases of tort, where multiple claimants have suffered harm due to the actions of a single defendant. For instance, imagine a group of passengers injured in a bus accident caused by the negligence of the driver or the transportation company. In such scenarios, collective proceedings may seem feasible.

However, the situation becomes notably complex when it comes to contract cases. Each individual claimant typically has a distinct breach of contract claim. This means that while a group of individuals may share a common grievance, they often have separate legal causes of action, making it challenging to pursue class-action suits in contract-related matters.

Jurisdiction Matters

Another crucial factor in UAE litigation is jurisdiction. In cases where a claimant lacks jurisdiction against a defendant, the common advice is to include an additional UAE-domiciled defendant in the legal proceedings. This strategic move ensures that UAE courts have jurisdiction to adjudicate the case.

However, this practice might not neatly align with the concept of class-action lawsuits, especially when the claimants are seeking collective redress against a foreign entity. The absence of specific class-action legislation in the UAE further complicates this matter.

The DIFC and ADGM Courts: A Glimmer of Hope?

While UAE law doesn’t provide for class actions, there is a glimmer of hope for those seeking collective remedies within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) financial free zones. These jurisdictions host numerous financial institutions, including banks, investment companies, and insurers, within a user-friendly legal framework.

Although DIFC and ADGM courts do not have dedicated laws or procedures for class-action proceedings, they do possess the power to issue Group Litigation Orders. These orders are designed to manage claims that involve common or related issues of fact or law. Importantly, parties can apply for such orders when dealing with multi-party disputes. Dubai lawyers can provide you with the guidance you need to navigate DIFC & ADGM procedures.

Challenges and the Way Forward

Despite the potential for group litigation in the DIFC and ADGM, there are still challenges to be addressed. In the absence of legislation, relevant claims would need to be filed separately, imposing a significant administrative burden on claimants.

Furthermore, there’s the issue of legal costs. Pursuing separate claims can lead to multiple legal costs for the defendant if they were to lose multiple cases. This potential financial burden might act as a deterrent for those considering collective legal action.

However, as Dubai and the UAE continue to evolve as global business and litigation hubs, there may be room for the development of more structured approaches to class-action lawsuits in the future.

The presence of third-party funders in the UAE legal landscape also deserves attention. These funders cover the costs of legal proceedings in exchange for a share of any awarded sum, ensuring that the cost of litigation isn’t a barrier to seeking justice. The availability of third-party funding could potentially boost the number and scale of claims in the UAE.


At BSB Legal, we understand that navigating the legal terrain in the UAE can be complex, especially in cases involving multiple plaintiffs with common claims. Our team of experienced legal professionals is well-versed in UAE law and can provide tailored legal solutions to address your specific needs. While a traditional class-action suit may not be the norm in the UAE, we offer the expertise and resources to represent your interests efficiently and effectively.

In conclusion, while the UAE legal system may not provide a direct counterpart to class-action lawsuits seen in some other jurisdictions, it does offer effective alternatives to address collective claims. BSB Legal is here to guide you through the process, ensuring that your rights and interests are protected in line with UAE legal standards.

For legal inquiries and support tailored to your needs, contact BSB Legal today. Your pursuit of justice and resolution starts here.