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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Arbitration in the UAE is a model for the MENA region

Over the past 50 years, the UAE has established itself as the international business center of the Middle East. This has led to a need to adapt to international dispute resolution methods, and the UAE has responded by developing a comprehensive legal framework for arbitration, including the UAE Federal Arbitration Law and the Dubai International Arbitration Center (DIAC) Rules, based on the UNCITRAL Model Law.

DIAC is the leading arbitration institution in the UAE, offering state-of-the-art facilities and experienced arbitrators from around the world. Other arbitration institutions in the UAE include the Abu Dhabi Commercial Conciliation and Arbitration Center (ADCCAC) and Tahkeem, an arbitration center in Sharjah

The UAE’s strategic location, modern infrastructure, convenient transportation network and cosmopolitan population make it an attractive location for international arbitration.

The UAE’s established market in the region has witnessed large-scale arbitration matters, allowing neighboring countries to trust the UAE courts to handle their disputes.

The UAE’s legal system is based on civil law and influenced by Islamic law, making it particularly attractive to parties seeking arbitration in disputes involving areas such as Islamic finance, construction and energy.

According to DIAC, the number of cases handled has increased significantly from 260 in 2019 to 346 in 2020, with the highest number of cases involving the construction, real estate and hospitality industries. In addition, the UAE’s DIAC has handled high-profile international cases, including a $2 billion dispute between Dana Gas and its Islamic bondholders, and a dispute between Saudi conglomerate Ahmad Hamad Al Gosaibi & Brothers Co. and Saudi businessman Maan Al Sanea The $3.8 billion in disputes between China and the United States is just a small part of the list.

—The author is director of real estate at AWS Legal Group

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