Two recent judgments, one from the United States (US) District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana (“Louisiana Court”) and another from the Singapore High Court (“Singapore Court”), have highlighted the difficulties that Decree No. 34/2021(Concerning the Dubai International Arbitration Centre) (“Decree No. 34/2021”) may cause to the enforceability of DIFC-LCIA arbitration clauses in arbitrations…

There has been a requirement in the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”) for witnesses to take an oath when giving their testimony in arbitration proceedings. Awards that relied on testimonies of witnesses who had not taken an oath were subject to nullification. There is currently uncertainty over whether witnesses are still required to take an oath…

On 5 February 2024, the Dubai Court of Cassation (“DCC”) issued a judgment in Commercial Case No. 821/2023 (“DCC Judgment”). It upheld an earlier judgment of the Dubai Court of Appeal (“CoA”) which set aside an arbitration award issued under the ICC Rules of Arbitration  2021 (“ICC Rules 2021”) in part concerning the recovery of…

In February 2024, a new arbitration centre was inaugurated in Abu Dhabi.  The Abu Dhabi International Arbitration Centre, known as arbitrateAD (“Centre”) launched as an independent and neutral forum for dispute resolution.  Aligning with established domestic, regional, and global best practices, the Centre aims to position Abu Dhabi as a pivotal hub for international arbitration….

In the beginning of 2023, a diplomat told the Economist that the Middle East was tired of conflict and that de-escalation and diplomacy would be the orders of the day. While this did not hold true on the political side, it did hold true for the arbitration world. The MENA region witnessed the coming together…

Recent amendments to Federal Law No. 6 on 2018 on Arbitration, the UAE Federal Arbitration Law (“FAL”), introduced by Federal Decree Law No. 15 of 2023 (Amending Certain Provisions of Federal Law No. 6 of 2018 on Arbitration) (“Amendment Law”), give rise to concerns that in an endeavour to improve certain provisions of the FAL,…

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (“KSA”) has recently embarked on substantial public investment, both domestically and abroad. Major investments made by the Public Investment Fund, and giga-projects such as Neom, Red Sea Global and Diriyah Gate, clearly demonstrate the KSA’s intention to revolutionise its economy. However, often, with big investment comes the potential for big…

Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, visited the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”) and Qatar last week as part of a state visit to the Middle East. This visit led to the signing of the India-UAE bilateral investment treaty between Indian Prime Minister Modi and the UAE’s president, Mohamed Bin Zayed on 13 February 2024. Along with the…

In recent years, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (“KSA”) has experienced a significant surge in construction projects and notable developments in its energy sector. The unveiling of new Smart Sustainable Cities and Special Economic Zones, aimed at enhancing business prospects, underscores the KSA’s commitment to fostering strategic sector development and attracting high-quality investments. These initiatives…

Amongst the strides taken by the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”) in recent years, there is the improvement made to the enforcement process of foreign awards in the UAE courts. This post examines the legislative changes made in this area, how the UAE courts have approached applications for the enforcement of foreign awards and the grounds…

Abu Dhabi’s latest foray, the Abu Dhabi International Arbitration Centre, came into effect on 1 February 2024. Branded and referred to as arbitrateAD, its new set of arbitration rules (“arbitrateAD Rules”) was published on 1 February 2024 and consists of a newly established Board of Directors and Court of Arbitration. In this post, we provide a…

The United Arab Emirates (“UAE”) courts have traditionally held that arbitration is an exceptional means of resolving disputes. However, in recent years, there has been a significant shift in the UAE courts’ approach with decisions confirming that arbitration is not merely an exceptional means of resolving parties’ disputes, but an equal alternative to litigation. In…

On 6 November 2023, the United States (“US“) District Court of New Orleans, Louisiana (“Louisiana Court“) rendered a decision on the enforceability of a DIFC-LCIA arbitration clause. The Louisiana Court ruled that the DIFC-LCIA arbitration clause was unenforceable because it referred to an arbitral institution that had been abolished. This decision from the Louisiana Court…

The past decade has seen the Gulf ascend as a nexus for international arbitration. Arbitration has proliferated in the region’s many special economic zones, from the United Arab Emirates’ (“UAE”) Abu Dhabi Global Market (“ADGM”) to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Economic City. The latest iteration of that trend has translated into the…

The Bahrain Court of Cassation (“Court of Cassation”) recently examined the relationship between arbitration and a pre-required mediation step in its decision of 19 June 2023 in Case No. 815 of 2022. The case concerned a multi-tiered dispute resolution clause providing for mediation then arbitration. The parties’ agreement in this case, however, was atypical, as…

The Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (“CRCICA”) issued its latest set of Arbitration Rules 2024 (“2024 Rules”), which enter into force from 15 January 2024. The 2024 Rules are presently available in English and Arabic, with a French version expected to be made available soon. Last updated in 2011, the CRCICA 2011 Rules…

After a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the much-anticipated third ICC Kuwait Arbitration Day took place at the heart of Kuwait in the Burj Al Shaya Building on 5 October 2023, organised by the ICC in collaboration with Al Tamimi & Company. Following the success of the inaugural ICC Kuwait Arbitration Day conference in…

Pathological clauses are not an infrequent occurrence in the arbitration world. We often see arbitration clauses which are poorly drafted and may result in rendering the clause inoperable. Being able to predict how a court would treat a pathological clause would help the parties and specifically the party wishing to file proceedings decide whether they…

London International Disputes Week 2023 (“LIDW 2023”) kicked off on 15 May 2023. This year’s theme explores how the disputes community, is and should be, adapting to a changing world. The first day – International Arbitration Day followed the “arbitration disputes sun” across key regions and jurisdictions exploring recent developments and connections of those regions…

On 17 March 2022, Abu Dhabi witnessed an event which was five years in the making: a joint-conference by ICSID and the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) titled “Investment Arbitration in the Middle East”. This post recaps some highlights from the event, as well as offering further views and commentary.   Event Kick-off and Its…

The recent adoption of Decree No. 34/2021 (see Dubai Government Decree No. 34 of 2021, which entered into force with effect from 20 September 2021) provides for the consolidation of local arbitration centers into a single institution, the Dubai International Arbitration Centre 2.0 (DIAC 2.0). Some perspectives on Decree No. 34/2021 have already been shared…

Much like Beckett’s Vladimir and Estragon, desperately waiting for Godot without success, the citizens of Lebanon are protagonists of a living theater of the absurd which their country has become, desperately waiting for legal, institutional and social reforms to no avail. While the collapse of the Lebanese financial system and the de facto capital controls…

On 14 September 2021, a Decree (no. 34) by the government of Dubai (currently only available in Arabic)  (the Decree) abolished two of Dubai’s most successful arbitration institutions: the Dubai Maritime Arbitration Centre (EMAC) and the DIFC-LCIA Centre.1)The DIFC-LCIA was established as a joint venture between Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Dubai Arbitration Institute (DAI),…