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National Transport Authority And Difc Courts Discuss Additional Support For Uae Maritime Industry

His Excellency Salem Ali Al Zaabi, Director General of the UAE National Transport Authority (NTA), led a recent delegation to the DIFC Courts, Dubais established English-language, commercial common law judicial system, as the two organisations explore areas of potential collaboration, particularly in the field of Maritime Law.

The NTA is the organisation with strategic oversight of the UAEs land and maritime transport system. During the visit, HE Al Zaabi and his team met with HE Justice Ali AlMadhani, a Judge at the DIFC Courts, and Mark Beer, the DIFC Courts Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, who gave them a tour of the Courts and explained how they are supporting the development of the UAEs economy and reputation by providing certainty to companies operating in all sectors.

Also on the agenda was discussion about how the DIFC Courts can further support the UAEs maritime industry through the resolution of disputes arising in the countrys waters. The Courts judicial bench includes experts in Maritime Law such as Justice Sir David Steel, who previously served as an Admiralty Judge, a Wreck Commissioner for England and Wales, and as a member on the Panel of Lloyds Salvage Arbitrators.

H.E. Salem Ali Al Zaabi, Director General of NTA, discussed the importance of providing legal recourse for global investors operating in the UAEs maritime sector. He reviewed the DIFC Courts statute book and procedures for dealing with maritime cases, and noted their potential to further support the maritime industry in time, especially since they operate in English and are based on English Common Law. H.E. Al Zaabi further discussed how the NTA is looking into how decisions made in Maritime Courts can be recognised federally.

His Excellency was interested to hear about the achievements of the DIFC Courts and how they have helped to build investor confidence in the UAE by providing an important layer of certainty that disputes will be resolved fairly and efficiency. The maritime industry is highly capital intensive and subject to complex International laws and contractual arrangements, so there are natural areas of overlap between the NTA and DIFC Courts, he said. Further discussions are anticipated over the coming months on how the DIFC Courts can support the NTAs strategic objectives for the development of the UAEs maritime industry.

Michael Hwang, Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts, said: We are grateful for the interest shown by H.E. Al Zaabi and the NTA team in the DIFC Courts. The UAEs maritime sector has made a tremendous contribution to the diversification of the countrys economy over the past four decades and is poised for further rapid growth in the coming years. Both organisations are fully committed to supporting the long-term economic goals of the UAE and we look forward to working collaboratively to cement the UAEs status as a global maritime hub.

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