Legal experts say new UAE arbitration law will encourage investment

The new law is based on the nearly universally accepted UNCITRAL Model Law
The law is based on the globally accepted UNCITRAL Model Law, which has been adopted in 111 jurisdictions in 80 states.
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Thu 17 May 2018 08:49 AM

Legal experts in the UAE are praising the formal adoption of the country’s new arbitration law, which many believe will encourage more investment into the UAE and have a positive impact on local businesses.

The new law repeals and replaces the pre-existing arbitration law that has governed arbitration in the UAE since 1992.

Additionally, the law is based on the globally accepted UNCITRAL Model Law, which has been adopted in 111 jurisdictions in 80 states.

As per the law, both arbitral tribunals and courts have the power to order interim conservatory measures relating to ongoing or potential arbitrations, and the law stipulates that electronic writings satisfy the requirement that the arbitration clause be in writing, as well as a number of other features.

In a statement, Maria Mazzawi and Bill Smith, arbitration experts at Pinsent Masons law firm in Dubai said that the law “will have a positive impact on both domestic and foreign businesses, while encouraging even more foreign direct investment into the UAE.”

“Businesses already operating in the region will benefit from further reassurance should any disputes arise, as the new law provides greater certainty of outcome within a recognised international framework for conflict resolution,” they added.

Ben Bruton, the head of Middle East disputes and investigation practice at Winston & Strawn law firm, said the move will bring the UAE “into line with the leading arbitration seats around the world in terms of the legislative framework within which arbitration operates.”

“It’s also likely to act as a tailwind on international investment into Dubai and the wider UAE with investors having increased confidence that that their arbitration awards will be enforced under a familiar and predictable regime,” he added. “There has been a desire for several years within the business community to see this law passed and I expect it will be warmly welcomed.”

Essam Al Tamimi, a senior partner at Al Tamimi & Company, said that “this state-of-the-art arbitration law will fortify the UAE’s position as a leading arbitral seat in the MENA region”, adding that the law “is the best in the region.”

Lastly, Dr. Hassan Arab, the deputy managing partner and co-head of litigation at Al Tamimi, said that the law will ‘help bring clarity to the conduct of arbitrations seated in the UAE, as well as arbitration-related court proceedings.”

The new law will come into effect one month after it is published in the Official Gazette, which is expected to happen soon.

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