Abu Dhabi: In a landmark decision, Abu Dhabi has included Hindi as the third official language used in its courts, alongside Arabic and English, as part of a move designed to improve access to justice. The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) made the decision focusing on the Indian community in the UAE, which constitutes 30% of the total population in the country.
The body said it has extended the adoption of interactive forms of statement of claims filed before courts by including Hindi alongside Arabic and English in labor cases. The move is aimed at helping Hindi speakers to learn about litigation procedures, their rights and duties without a language barrier, in addition to facilitating registration procedures via unified forms available through the ADJD website.
According to official figures, the UAE population is estimated to be around 5 million of which two-thirds are immigrants from foreign countries. The Indian community in the UAE, numbering 2.6 million, constitutes 30% of the total population. It's the largest expatriate community in the country.
Yousef Saeed Al Abri, the undersecretary of the ADJD, said the adoption of multilingual interactive forms for claim sheets, grievances, and requests, aims to promote judicial services in line with the plan 'Tomorrow 2021' and increase the transparency of litigation procedures.
He indicated that the extension of the adoption of interactive forms in several languages comes under the directives ADJD Chairman. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy PM and Minister of Presidential Affairs and ADJD Chairman, directed to extend the adoption of interactive forms. The adoption comes as part of the bilingual litigation system, the first phase of which was launched in November 2018, through the adoption of procedures requiring the plaintiffs to translate the case documents into English, if the defendant is a foreigner.