What Is The Timeline For Filing Court Cases In UAE?

Civil Lawyers of Dubai often receive a query regarding time limit to file court cases in UAE Courts in matters of civil claim, cheque bounce, criminal cases or appeal in the foregoing cases. Hence, the topic of today’s article will discuss the timelines for registering court cases at different stages. According to the UAE Civil Procedure Law, civil claims are time-barred, and within such a statutory timeline, the claimant shall register the case before a competent court. Although, there exists a restriction of filing claim post the time limit, yet, it will not eliminate the claim in its entirety and gives the defendant to object the claim on the procedural aspect. Ergo, it is pertinent to ascertain the time limits prior to registering any claim in Dubai courts and not only the time limit, but when it starts and other relevant circumstances.

Important Timelines

  • Pursuant to Article 473 of the Civil Procedure Law, any civil claim cannot be registered post 15 years from the date of its existence or otherwise as mentioned in specific cases.
  • Article 298 of the Civil Procedure Law states that any claim arising out of action from tort shall be registered within 3 years from the date of the damage or when the victim was aware of the harm unless there were specific reasons for the delay accepted by the court.
  • Article 476 of the Civil Procedure Code, restricts the claimant in a case of contractual relationship between traders, customers, labourers, servants or helpers hired on a daily basis or monthly basis shall be registered within 2 years from the date of acknowledgement of dispute or failure to adhere with contractual obligations, unless there is justifiable reason for the delay in filing claim.
  • A three-year timeline is maintained for construction cases between the parties as in accordance with Article 883 of the Civil Procedure Law.
  • Additionally, any matter arising out of or in relation to any commercial activities undertaken in UAE or in line with Commercial Transaction Law shall be filed within 10 years from the date of such dispute.
  • Secondly, Article 370 of the Commercial Transaction Law impose a time limit of 2 years to the claimants in cases of matters relating to air-carriers which starts from the date the aeroplane was supposed to arrive, or it arrives, or on the day it was stopped.
  • Any charter party claim should be filed within 1 year, pursuant to Article 224 of the UAE Maritime Law. Whereas, cases for marine insurance or collision can be filed within 2 years from the date of the accident.
  • Any criminal case for cheque bounce should be registered within 6 months from the date it was dishonoured by the bank or relevant financial institution.

In a nutshell, the legislator has set varied time limits for different cases depending upon the circumstances of the matter and in order to protect the very interest of the claimant and the defendant.


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