Consumer in UAE can file complaint against firm if it fails to deliver the goods

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Know your legal rights in the UAE.

I had signed an agreement with a tour company in April 2018 in order to avail hotel bookings for a period of two years wherein I would be offered a 6 days/nights hotel booking per year. I made a payment of Dh9,000 to the tour company. However, when I tried to utilise the facilities offered to me in the agreement, I was unable to do so as the office of the  company was closed with a board stating that it is under maintenance. Their landline is not reachable. The company had posted a mobile number as contact at  the entrance of their office but no representative responds on it. How can I recover the money I have paid to the tour company?

We assume that you and the tour company are based in the emirate of Dubai. It may be noted that the provisions of Federal Law No. 5 of 1985 on Civil Transactions Law of the United Arab Emirates (the 'Civil Transactions Law') and Federal Law No. 24 of 2006 on Consumer Protection ('Consumer Protection Law') shall be applicable. 

As per the provisions of the Consumer Protection Law, a Consumer Protection Department is instituted under the Ministry of Economy, wherein a consumer may file a complaint before the department. This is in accordance with Article 4 (6) of the Consumer Protection Law, which states: "A department shall be set up in the Ministry under the name of the Consumer Protection Department and shall carry out the following competencies:

Receive consumers' complaints and adopt the procedures in this regard or refer them to the competent authorities. The complaint may be submitted directly by the consumer. It may be filed by the consumer protection association for it is considered a representative of the complainant." Based on the aforementioned provision of the Consumer Protection Law, you may file a complaint against the company with the Consumer Protection Department based in the Department of Economic Development office.

As per the provisions of the Civil Transactions Law, the parties to an agreement have an obligation to each other to perform the contract in a manner which is in consonance with principles of good faith. This is in accordance with Article 246 (1) of the Civil Transactions Law which states: "The contract shall be implemented, according to the provisions contained therein and in a manner consistent with the requirements of good faith." Therefore, it may be construed that the tour company with which you have entered into an agreement may be not acting in good faith as they have not been available at their office and they have not been responding to your calls which has subsequently made you to not avail the facilities which were promised to you.

It may be pertinent to note that as the amount that has been paid to the company by you is Dh9,000, it is recommended that you lodge a civil complaint against the firm at the Centre for Amicable Settlement of Disputes at Dubai Court (the 'Centre'). The Centre is a reconciliation department which deals with debts/claims amounting below Dh50,000. While filing the civil complaint against the company, it would be prudent on your part to take along with you any supporting documentary evidence (agreement with the company, payment to company as stated by you) and submit them to the Centre for registering the civil complaint. You may approach the Centre for further details.
 
Know the law

A contract between a company and consumer shall be implemented, according to the provisions contained therein and in a manner consistent with the requirements of good faith

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: [email protected] or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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