Claim No: CFI 001/2012
THE DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE
In the name of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum,
BEFORE H.E. JUSTICE ALI AL MADHANI
Applicant / Defendant
(1) SOPHIA AL SHAYKH
(2) YAHYA AL SHAYKH
Respondent / First Claimant
Hearing: 5 February 2012
Counsel: Sophia Al Shaykh (Claimant in person)
Graham Lovett, Clifford Chance LLP for Defendant
Judgment: 12 February 2012
2. The Applicant's reasons are that the Respondent, Sophia Al Shaykh, is the wife of Yahya Al Shaykhwho entered into an Employment Contract with DIFCA. Sophia Al Shaykhhas brought a claim before DIFCA seeking AED 200,000 relating to unpaid costsof relocation to France, return air ticket and relief compensation for reasons that DIFCA had asked her to wait for a positive solution to Yahya Al Shaykh's termination.
3. The Applicant insists that Sophia Al Shaykh was not a party to the Employment Contract and, on that basis, Sophia Al Shaykh cannot bring an action against DIFCA in relation to the termination of her husband's Employment Contract.
4. Sophia Al Shaykh failed to address any reasonable grounds or explain on what basis she has any rights to the claim brought against DIFCA. As no cause of action has been established by her, this court is required to strike out her claim according toArticle 4.16of the RDC.
5. The Application was served upon the Respondent and, as a result, Sophia Al Shaykh submitted a Defence on 25 January 2012 and Skeleton Arguments on 5 February 2012. The summary of the Respondent's defense to this application is as follows:
(a) Sophia Al Shaykh was named in DIFCA's records as the wife of Yahya Al Shaykh the contracting party with DIFCA and, as such, she was entitled to a business class air ticket, as stated in Article 5 of the Employment Contract of her husband.
(b) The mention of her by description as a wife of Yahya Al Shaykh — the contracting party makes Sophia Al Shaykha party and beneficiary to the contract; as such she can sue based on that capacity.
(c) After termination of Mr Yahya Al Shaykh's employment, Sophia Al Shaykh was requested by the Governor of the DIFC and DIFCA to wait for a fair solution — which did not occur.
(d) Sophia Al Shaykh was named in the initial claim brought before the Small Claims Tribunal
(e) The Dubai Ruler's Court, the Governor of the DIFC and DIFCA, by asking her to wait for a fair solution, prevented Sophia Al Shaykh from travelling to France to see her family and, therefore, she had to stay in Dubai incurring extra living costs.
(f) Sophia Al Shaykh advised that she had received several verbal and written remarks from the CEO of DIFCA that she claims were insulting which, ultimately, led her to sue for relief compensation of AED 126,000.00 due to the suffering caused to her by DIFCA as a result of the cruel termination of her husband.
(g) The Respondent then asked for the Application Notice CFI 001/2012/1 to be dismissed.
(h) There were also a number of points of fact that were irrelevant or un-established with reference to point of law and were, therefore, not considered.
6. On 5 February the Applicant submitted a Skeleton Argument and it can be summarised as follows:
(c) The Employment Contract refers to Mr Al Shaykh's dependents in two places:
(i) The first in Clause 5 which provides a return business ticket to the employee's dependents states:
"The Employee shall be entitled to receive one return Business Class air ticket to the Employee's home country, for each year of employment.
Such entitlement will also apply to the Employee's dependents (spouse and up to three children under the age of 18 years old) residing with the Employee in the UAE
The equivalent cash value of tickets may also be taken by the Employee."
(ii) The second is at Clause 10 which states:
"During the Employee's term of service, the employee shall be provided medical insurance as applicable for the Employment and for the Employee's approved dependents.
The Employee, and the Employee's approved dependents shall be entitled for coverage under DIFCA's private group medical insurance plan in effect and as may be amended from time to time."
(e) Article 104 of the DIFC Contract Law 2004 states the right of third party to enforce a term of a contract.
"(1) Subject to the provisions of this law, a person who is not a party to a contract (a "third party") may in his own right enforce a term of the contract if:
(h) As can be seen below, there is no independent right for any dependents of the employee to directly claim for any employment rights under the Separation Policy.
"The DIFC Authority provides repatriation to all confirmed employees on separation from the organization provided the expatriate employee decides to return to his/her home country.
The repatriation package consists of:
One way ticket to home country, nearest international airport as per passport will be provided upon cancellation of residence visa (local & overseas hires) for employee and approved dependents (Spouse and 3 children who are having a valid UAE residence visa and residing at UAE.)
Relocation assistance (20-foot container by sea freight) will be provided to expatriates upon completion of visa cancellation formalities."
(j) The Court is empowered byArticle 4.16of the RDC to strike out this case in respect of Sophia Al Shaykh as a Claimant.
"The Court may strike out a Registrar
H.E. Justice Ali Al Madhani
Date of Issue: 12 February 2012