The UAE has continuously aimed to attract international investment in the country to further its economic progress. The end goal has been to build a flexible business environment in the UAE, one that furthers economic prosperity. The United Arab Emirates is today home to a multitude of expat populations, to the tune of almost ninety per cent of the total population. The last few years have seen many progressive legal reforms being enacted in the UAE that have been critically aligned with the economic reforms. The progressive new laws also aim to make the region more expat-friendly and adaptable.
Building a highly effective dispute resolution system that matches the international standards has been a key focus for the UAE. The UAE Arbitration Law is modelled on the UNCITRAL (United Nations Commission on International Trade Law) model Arbitration Law which represents the international best practices. Pursuing an arbitration process over the traditional litigation route can offer many distinct advantages such as choice of language, Confidentiality, flexibility to choose the number of arbitrators, the seat of arbitration, procedures etc. The Federal Law No. (6) of 2018 on arbitration (‘Arbitration Law’) defines arbitration as ‘ A procedure regulated by law in which a dispute between one or more parties is submitted, by agreement of the parties, to an arbitral tribunal which makes a binding decision on the dispute’(Article 1 ).
The UAE arbitration law also prescribes the following preliminary requirements in order to constitute a valid and binding arbitration agreement:
- An Arbitration Agreement is required to be in writing, and otherwise, it shall be considered void (Article 7 (1)).
- An Arbitration Agreement may only be concluded by a natural person having the legal capacity with specific authority to arbitrate (Article 4(1))
- The Arbitration Agreement may also be concluded after a dispute has arisen, even if an action in this respect has already been brought before a court. In such a case, the agreement must determine matters included in the arbitration. (Article 5(2))
- The Parties are free to agree on a procedure of appointing the arbitrator or arbitrators and the time and method of appointment (Article 11 (1)
Due to the many advantages that arbitration can provide over traditional litigation, it is often the preferred choice for dispute resolution for legal companies in Dubai, as well as in other emirates. Unlike traditional litigation that happens before the local courts wherein the official language of the court i.e. Arabic is used. The arbitration in the UAE can be in other languages such as English, and further, the parties also have the right to choose the law governing the dispute (which could be a foreign law). Hence, it is critical that one should choose only the top law firms in the UAE to represent them in arbitration. As only such international firms can provide you with the lawyers and legal experts specializing in arbitration matters. So instead of conducting a general search on lawyers in Dubai, specifically search for arbitration law firms in Dubai or arbitration lawyers in Dubai. The established arbitration centers in the UAE include, the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC), the Abu Dhabi Commercial, Conciliation and Arbitration Centre, DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre (Dubai), Sharjah International Commercial Arbitration Centre (Tahkeem) and Ras Al Khaimah Centre for Reconciliation and Commercial Arbitration.
The UAE is paving the way for a new and modern era for the country, one that proves its attractiveness to global investors and innovators. The country’s vision remains aligned with the ambitions of the country to become the leading business hub and also to establish a well-diversified economy. The new changes effected in the recent years are a welcome move that will certainly attract more foreign direct investment in the region as well as spurt further economic growth.