x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Judicial expansion nearing completion

A large part of the expansion, six new buildings, will be finished in Abu Dhabi soon.

ABU DHABI // The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, which has been struggling to cope with a lack of space, says a large part of its expansion plans are nearly complete. The department also announced plans to build a new judicial academy in the capital and new offices in the emirate's eastern region and Al Gharbia.

The "projects are part of ADJD's drive to cope with the dramatic population growth of the emirate and adopt global benchmarks for its judicial services", it said in a statement. In the capital, the department is constructing six buildings, including a large hall that will house additional courtrooms and service departments, that are expected to be completed by early next year. The hall will have an open-plan design, it said, and be divided into sections to make it easier for people to find their way to various courts. It will also have signs in Arabic and English and an information desk to help the growing number of expatriates in the emirate.

The department is also building a new headquarters in the same area that it expects to finish within three years. The three-storey building, between the current headquarters and Zayed Sports City, will be dome-shaped and feature eight towers that will house courts, as well as administrative and management offices. The new headquarters, which will give the department 7,600 square metres of additional space, "is designed to reflect the UAE culture ... [and will] be equipped with best of breed technologies for streamlined case registration and customer care". It is expected to be able to handle up to 5,000 people a day.

The ADJD added that the "contract for the Judicial Academy has already been awarded to a major international consultancy firm, after a stringent bidding process", but declined to name the firm since negotiations were ongoing. "The department's engineering division is also engaged in multiple new projects, which include the renovation of new buildings and facilities in the western and eastern regions, as part of efforts towards integration and standardisation within and outside Abu Dhabi," it said.

The department last week announced that a notary public division was being established in the Musafa district to serve the increasing number of residents who live off Abu Dhabi island. myoussef@thenatiuonal.ae