UAE: Chef ordered to return Dh25,000 he took from woman for establishing restaurant business

The woman also demanded an additional Dh50,000 in compensation for the material and moral damages she suffered


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Wed 8 Mar 2023, 8:03 AM

An Al Ain chef who took money from a resident after convincing her that he was going to open up a joint restaurant business with her, which never happened, has been instructed to return Dh25,000 to the woman.

The Al Ain Civil Appeals Court upheld an earlier ruling of the lower court which ordered the chef to pay back Dh25,000 to the woman.

The woman had filed a lawsuit against the cook, demanding that he returns Dh250,000 he took from her for establishing a restaurant. She also demanded Dh50,000 in compensation for the material and moral damages she suffered.

The woman said that the defendant had convinced her that he was a great chef and had a lot of experience in the field of cooking. She said the man also told her that he had a large following on social media, and if she invests in the restaurant project, she would get a huge amount of profit in return.

She said that the chef asked her to finance the restaurant project with Dh250,000 and that he would be in charge of managing the food outlet, which she agreed to.

The plaintiff explained that she met with the defendant in the lawyer's office, where she handed over the cash in an envelope to him and in the presence of some witnesses.

She said the chef had promised that they would meet in the same office on another day to sign the partnership contract, but he did not implement the agreed project. She added that when she tried to ask the chef to return the cash, he refused, which forced her to take him to court.

In his defence, the chef claimed he only received Dh25,000 from the woman and not Dh250,000, as she claimed in her lawsuit.

His lawyer argued that the police report in the criminal case confirmed that the verbal agreement between the pair was based on the payment of the amount in installments according to the project's needs, and therefore the woman’s claims – with no evidence – should not be regarded.

A report of the accounting expert who was assigned by the Civil Court of First Instance showed that the documents submitted to court by both parties did not include any written agreement between them explaining the nature of their business relationship, and the rights and obligations of each party.

The report concluded that the plaintiff had handed the defendant some money that was meant to establish a restaurant, but the amount she gave to the chef was not documented.

The Al Ain Civil Court of First Instance had earlier instructed the defendant to take a supplementary oath on whether she received only Dh25,000 and not Dh250,000 from the plaintiff, which he did.

The judge then issued a ruling obligating the defendant to pay back Dh25,000 to the plaintiff, and rejected all other claims due to lack of sufficient evidence.

The woman challenged the ruling to the appeals court, which has maintained the first verdict by the lower court.


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