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NEWS May 21 2018

Long Awaited Federal Arbitration Law Issued

It has been a long time coming, but finally the UAE has a standalone Arbitration Law. Law 6 of 2018 officially promulgates a UNCITRAL modelled law which significantly improves the UAE legal regime on arbitration and formally repeals the previous provisions on arbitration in the UAE Civil Procedure Code.

The significance of this much-anticipated development should not be understated. The UAE has long been a regional hub for international arbitrations, despite the law governing arbitration being underdeveloped.  That is now a thing of the past.

Arbitration practitioners will welcome the new law, as many of the ambiguities of the former arbitration regime have been ameliorated. The new law will no doubt further bolster confidence in the use of arbitration in the UAE and the UNCITRAL-based arbitration law most certainly brings the UAE's arbitral framework into line with international standards.

The key factors of the new law can be summarised below:

  • Arbitral tribunals now have the ability to order interim measures. The use of interim measures does not negate the right to arbitrate;
  • An arbitral award does not need to be physically signed in the geographical location of the seat;
  • A 30-day time limit has been stated for the initiation of annulment proceedings;
  • Enforcement proceedings are not stayed;
  • Interim awards are now enforceable; and
  • Clarification on the fact that electronic methods of writing satisfy the requirement that the arbitration agreement be in written form.

Areen Jayousi is a partner at Horizons & Co and heads the arbitration department. Areen and the arbitration team will be holding in-house seminars to update clients on the new law, and further analysis will be provided as more details become available.  For updates on the law or to register your interest for the in-house seminars please contact Areen Jayousi on areen.jayousi@horizlaw.ae or call 04 354 4444. 

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