The number of disputes heard at Dubai’s chamber of commerce is expected to treble this year, driven by a surge in payment claims from the construction industry.

The Dubai International Arbitration Centre has been forced to recruit top legal experts from other international centres of dispute resolution to ease a backlog of cases that has been building since the start of the year.

'There is an escalation of commercial disputes, the majority of them in construction. The current economic situation is one reason for that,' said Hamad Buamim, director general of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which established and funds the arbitration centre.

The National