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Dubai: How can residents claim money deposited for a staycation with local hotels?


Have you also faced a scenario where the hotel consistently delayed refunding your security deposit? Here’s what the law says

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Published: Sun 23 Jun 2024, 10:07 AM

Question: We had a family staycation in Dubai during the Eid Al Fitr holidays. During check-in, the receptionist informed us that I could pay the security deposit using a debit card, and the amount would be refunded to my account within three working days. I paid Dh1,000 with my debit card, but it has been over two months and the money has not yet been refunded. I have contacted the hotel multiple times, and they always have an excuse for the delay. What should I do in this case?

Answer: It is assumed that the hotel has issued a receipt for the deposit you paid to the hotel and this receipt states that the deposit is refundable. Therefore, the provisions of UAE civil transactions law are applicable.

In the UAE, a hotel, while booking hotel rooms and hotel apartments, will issue terms and conditions related to reservation, and it may also cover the payment of a security deposit. The terms and conditions (contract) of a hotel room/hotel apartment booking will contain essential obligations of the parties to the contract. This is in accordance with Article 141 of Federal Law No. 5 of 1985 on Civil Transactions Law, which states:

“1- A contract is not formed except through the agreement of the parties on the essential elements of the obligation and on all the other legitimate conditions which the parties consider them to be essential.

2- Where the parties agree on the essential elements of the obligation and on all the other legitimate conditions which the parties consider them to be essential, reserving some details to be agreed upon at a later date and did not condition the formation of the contract on the agreement on these matters, the contract is considered formed. Should any difference arise as to these pending details, the judge shall decide thereon according to the nature of the transaction and the law provisions.”

Therefore, a contract shall be implemented based on its provisions. This is in accordance with Article 246(1) of the UAE 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.”

If one of the parties to a bilateral contract does not perform its contractual obligations, the other party may serve notice to comply with the specific performance of a contract and may approach a court which has jurisdiction in the UAE, where a judge will decide on the matter. This is in accordance with Article 272 of the UAE Civil Transactions Law, which states:

“1-In bilateral contracts, if one of the parties does not perform his contractual obligations, the other party may, after serving a formal notification to the debtor, demand the performance of the contract or its rescission.

2-The judge may order the debtor immediate performance of the contract or grant him specified additional time, as he may order rescission with damages, in any case, if deemed justified.”

Based on the aforementioned provisions of law, if the terms and conditions of your hotel booking reservation state that the security deposit will be refunded to you and if you have any proof related to the payment of the deposit amount, you shall be entitled to refund of such security deposit from the hotel. In the event the hotel does not refund the security deposit, then you may file a complaint against such hotel with the Department of Tourism – Dubai. Alternatively, you may issue a legal notice to the hotel and thereafter approach the Dubai Court and file a civil case commencing with the Centre for Amicable Settlement of Dispute of the Dubai Court as the claim amount is less than Dh500,000.

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



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