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Help! My gym management is not honouring membership commitment

Ashish Mehta/Abu Dhabi
Filed on October 11, 2020
uae, gym, dubai, laws, covid

(KT file)

'The provisions of Federal Law No. (5) of 1985 on the Civil Transactions Law of the UAE are applicable'

I am an Abu Dhabi resident. As on July 1, gyms in the emirate have reopened. I had taken a three-month membership at a gym. I went to the facility for a couple of weeks before Covid-19 hit and it was shut down as a precautionary measure. As I returned to the gym, I was told that the membership is valid for half of the number of remaining days. Even this would be given if I paid in advance for the next renewal. That means I will get only a month of my remaining two months of membership and that, too, if I renew my membership. Is this legal?

Pursuant to your queries, we assume that at the time of availing the paid membership facilities from the gym for three months you may have signed terms and conditions regulating the membership. The provisions of Federal Law No. (5) of 1985 on the Civil Transactions Law of the UAE (Civil Transactions Law) are applicable.

It is the responsibility of this gym to provide you with facilities which they have agreed to when you paid the membership fees in accordance with the terms and conditions. If the terms and conditions state that the membership is valid for three months from the date of membership, then you may have a weak argument. However if the terms and conditions state that during this membership period, it shall be valid for you to use the gym for 90 days, without mentioning an end date, then you may prevail upon the gym to allow you to use its facilities.

The gym management may argue that this lockdown due to Covid-19 is beyond its control. This is in accordance with 386 of the Civil Transactions Law, which states: "When the specific performance by the debtor is impossible, he will be condemned to pay damages for non-performance of his obligation, unless he establishes that the impossibility of performance arose from a cause beyond his control. The same principle applies, if the debtor is late in the performance of his obligation."

KNOW THE LAW

"When the specific performance by the debtor is impossible, he will be condemned to pay damages for non-performance of his obligation, unless he establishes that the impossibility of performance arose from a cause beyond his control."

 

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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