United Arab Emirates

This is an Insight article, written by a selected partner as part of GAR's co-published content. Read more on Insight

Arbitration continues to be the preferred dispute resolution mechanism in the UAE for complex projects and disputes, particularly given the likelihood that a dispute will involve an international party. Recent years have seen a number of encouraging developments, most notably the rise of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) as an arbitration-friendly common-law based jurisdiction, not only for disputes with a geographical nexus to the DIFC, but increasingly as a ‘conduit jurisdiction’ enabling a party to make use of the DIFC Courts’ robust approach to recognition of arbitral awards to help enforcement even in onshore UAE. However, the first decision from the newly established Judicial Tribunal (JT), established to resolve jurisdictional conflicts between the DIFC and Dubai Courts, was issued in late 2016 and it suggests that the DIFC’s role as a conduit jurisdiction may become more limited.

Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Abu Dhabi’s answer to the DIFC, has also made steady progress towards becoming an established arbitral seat, seeking to offer a similar arbitration-friendly jurisdiction in Abu Dhabi. Last year also saw the launch of the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre (EMAC), designed to serve the needs of the Middle East shipping industry by offering a set of arbitration rules tailored for speed and efficiency, combined with the advantages of being seated in the DIFC by default.

Despite the popularity of arbitration, there continues to be no federal arbitration law in onshore UAE (outside of the DIFC Arbitration Law and the ADGM Arbitration Regulations), and onshore domestic arbitral proceedings are governed by a limited number of articles in the UAE Civil Procedure Code.1 Common procedural issues continue to be raised, which threaten the efficiency of proceedings and the enforcement of final awards, particularly surrounding signatures and authority to enter into arbitration agreements. Enforcement proceedings for arbitral awards can be a lengthy process, irrespective of which rules the arbitration was conducted under. There are, however, some encouraging signs that the UAE courts are taking an increasingly pragmatic position, signalling that the worst of the uncertainty and unpredictability is hopefully in the past.

Less encouragingly, in a move that sent ripples through the arbitration community in the UAE, the 2016 amendment2 to the UAE Penal Code3 introduced potential criminal liability (including imprisonment) for arbitrators acting in an unfair or biased manner against a party.4 While the risk of an arbitrator being convicted and imprisoned under this law appears low, the practical consequences of parties raising a complaint for tactical reasons must be considered. It remains to be seen how this development will unfold.

We examine each of the themes referred to above in the remainder of the article.

Offshore arbitral seats

Dubai International Financial Centre

The DIFC is naturally the correct forum for a dispute or enforcement proceedings if there is some link with the DIFC; for example, if one of the parties is either a DIFC company or has assets located within the DIFC. However, in recent years, two separate and independent principles collectively opened up the potential for the DIFC to become a ‘conduit jurisdiction’, serving as a conduit for arbitral awards and judgments to be enforced outside the DIFC:

(i)   the DIFC Courts have found that they have jurisdiction to recognise arbitral awards and judgments for enforcement even if there was no link in the subject matter, parties or assets to the DIFC; and

(ii)  once an award or judgment is recognised by the DIFC Courts for enforcement, the Dubai Courts are obliged to allow its execution without an examination of the underlying substance of the judgment.

In X1 and X2 v Y1 and Y2,5 it was held that foreign seated arbitral awards could be enforced in the DIFC Courts regardless of whether there was any connection with the DIFC, and even if the award debtor had no assets in the DIFC. This case expanded the scope of the DIFC’s role in enforcement of overseas arbitral awards to cases which did not have a geographical nexus with the DIFC. By finding that the DIFC Arbitration Law does not require there to be a connection with the DIFC for the DIFC Court to enforce a foreign arbitral award, the DIFC Courts established the first ‘conduit’ for their enforcement in onshore Dubai, taking advantage of the mutual recognition principles under article 7 of the Judicial Authority Law.6

This position was confirmed in Meydan Group LLC v Banyan Tree Corporate Pte Ltd,7 in which the DIFC Court went further, finding that it could consider applications to enforce awards where the seat of the arbitration was onshore Dubai and there was no geographical nexus to the DIFC.

The second ‘conduit’ was established in relation to the enforcement of foreign court judgments. In DNB Bank ASA v Gulf Eyadah,8 on appeal to the DIFC Court of Appeal, the DIFC Courts again confirmed that it was legitimate to seek recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment in the DIFC Courts, with a view to taking that judgment on to the Dubai Courts for execution. In doing so, the DIFC Courts adopted an English common-law approach, determining that any enforcement proceedings decisions would amount to an independent judgment, which is, in turn, capable of enforcement under article 7 of the Judicial Authority Law.

This was the high point of the DIFC enforcement framework. Following the DNB Bank judgment, the DIFC Courts have found jurisdiction to recognise any arbitral award or court judgment, domestic or foreign, regardless of whether the case, parties or the assets had any connection with the DIFC.

Judicial Tribunal

Against the backdrop of the expanding scope of the DIFC’s role as a conduit jurisdiction, the Ruler of Dubai established the Judicial Tribunal (JT) of the Dubai Courts and the DIFC Courts by Decree10 to deal with two types of issues: first, to determine jurisdiction disputes between the Dubai Courts and the DIFC Courts, including questions relating to the DIFC Courts acting as a conduit jurisdiction (article 2(1)); and second, in cases of two conflicting judgments from the Dubai Courts and the DIFC Courts involving the same parties and subject matter (including in the case of conflicting enforcement orders), to decide which of the two shall be valid (article 2(2)).

There are seven members of the JT, comprising four members from the Dubai Courts and three members from the DIFC Courts. The Chairman of the JT (currently the Head of the Dubai Court of Cassation) has the casting vote.

The JT’s first case – Daman v Oger

The first decision of the JT came in Daman Real Capital Partners Company LLC v Oger Dubai LLC.11 The JT was asked to rule on the conflict between the successful party in an onshore Dubai-seated arbitration that had sought recognition and enforcement of the award in the DIFC Courts, and the losing party which was seeking annulment of the award in the Dubai Courts.

The DIFC Courts granted a freezing order over the award debtor’s assets but postponed enforcement to allow it to pursue its annulment challenge in the Dubai Courts. The condition of the postponement was that the award debtor was to provide security to the DIFC Courts. It failed to do so and, in December 2015, the award was recognised under article 43 of the DIFC Arbitration Law.12 The DIFC Courts dismissed the award debtor’s application for permission to appeal and for a stay of the enforcement order.

In March 2016, the award creditor presented a winding-up petition to the DIFC Courts after it became clear that the award debtor was unable to pay the award and judgment debt. Two written demands had been served before, and in June 2016, the DIFC Courts ordered that the award debtor be wound up, following a hearing in respect of the March 2016 application.

Running in parallel to developments in the DIFC Courts, the award debtor applied for the annulment of the award in the Dubai Courts. In January 2016, the Dubai Court of First Instance dismissed the award debtor’s annulment claims. June 2016 saw the Dubai Court of Appeal dismiss the award debtor’s appeal from the Court of First Instance. Both courts determined that they lacked jurisdiction as the DIFC Courts, in considering and handing down their decision, had jurisdiction.

The DIFC Courts, as part of the winding-up decision, suggested that it was possible to appeal to the Dubai Court of Cassation on matters of jurisdiction. Therefore, the two judicial systems remained conflicted.

The JT’s decision and analysis

The JT confirmed that a conflict existed between the DIFC Courts and the Dubai Courts. This was due to the fact that the case was ‘doubtless’ awaiting the determination of the Dubai Court of Cassation, despite its previous dismissal by both the Dubai Court of First Instance and the Dubai Court of Appeal. As a result, the award debtor was found to be within its rights to bring the case to the JT pursuant to article 4 of the Decree.

By majority decision, the JT stated that: ‘According to the general principles of law embodied in the procedural laws the Dubai Courts are the competent courts to entertain this case’ and ordered that the DIFC Courts cease to entertain the case and that it be instead remitted for trial by the Dubai Courts. There was no further explanation offered as to what such ‘general principles’ entailed. The JT also clarified that its decision may have been different if the case concerned enforcement of foreign arbitral awards pursuant to the New York Convention, distinguishing it from a domestic UAE award as was the case here.13

It is worth noting that, while the JT’s decision will likely affect future cases seeking to make use of the DIFC as a conduit jurisdiction, the nature of this dispute itself did not concern the issue of conduit jurisdiction. Daman Real Capital Partners Company LLC is a DIFC-registered company and the asset in question was located within the DIFC. Despite the remaining uncertainty, the arbitration community can at least be grateful for the JT’s comment that its position may be different if the arbitral award in question was a foreign award, perhaps indicating that the conduit established by X1 and X2 v Y1 and Y214 remains viable.

The conflict of jurisdiction arose because two ‘competing’ jurisdictions emerged, with the DIFC Courts on one hand as the competent court to hear Oger’s application for enforcement (as the award debtor was a DIFC company with assets within the DIFC), but Dubai Courts on the other hand as the competent court to hear Daman’s application for annulment of the award (as it was seated onshore). Few would argue it would be appropriate for the combined effect of the legal framework across the DIFC and onshore Dubai to deprive Dubai Courts of the opportunity to hear an annulment application for a domestic arbitral award, but that was precisely the conflict referred to the JT for its decision, since both the Dubai Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeal held that they lacked jurisdiction as the DIFC Court had already recognised the award for enforcement.

This decision would have been more helpful if the JT had gone further than to simply refer to ‘the general principles of law embodied in the procedural laws’, and if it had used a different expression than ‘cease from entertaining the case’, as this did not make clear whether, in the JT’s opinion, the DIFC Court should merely stay the enforcement proceedings, or whether the DIFC Court did not have jurisdiction at all. This was a complex case involving examination of the procedural law in detail, and required a clear and thorough analysis in the decision to resolve the jurisdictional conflict. By declining to provide a more detailed explanation, the JT’s decision raises questions that ought to have been answered in the decision itself, leaving the arbitration community guessing as to what the JT had intended.

It does not seem likely that it was JT’s intention to deprive the DIFC Court of its jurisdiction to hear Oger’s enforcement application. Due to the location of the award debtor and its assets, the DIFC Court has exclusive jurisdiction over the enforcement application – any attempt to state the contrary would rightly alarm the arbitration community considerably. If, on the other hand, it was the JT’s intention that the DIFC Court should stay Oger’s enforcement proceedings before it pending the outcome of Daman’s annulment application in the Dubai Courts, such a position is arguably a ‘correct’ position when the competing aspects are considered as a whole.

However, even the latter position does leave two key questions. First, if the effect of the JT’s decision is that the Dubai Courts must be given an opportunity to consider any annulment applications for a domestic UAE arbitral award before the DIFC Courts consider an enforcement application of the same, how would this work procedurally? In cases such as Daman v Oger where it is the DIFC Court’s natural jurisdiction to consider an enforcement application against a DIFC-registered company and DIFC-based assets, would the successful party be effectively forced to wait until the unsuccessful party has exhausted its avenues under the Dubai Court system, which may potentially take several years? It would be beneficial for the JT to provide guidance as to how it sees the two jurisdictions working together going forward.

Second, and somewhat related to the first, is the question of where this decision leaves the DIFC’s role as a conduit jurisdiction for enforcement of domestic UAE arbitral awards against companies and assets based in onshore UAE. To that end, the collective opinion of the arbitration community is that the future of the conduit established by Meydan v Banyan Tree15 seems to be in serious doubt. We also agree, but would only add that the framework that emerges in answer to our first question (ie, how should the DIFC Courts deal with an application to enforce a domestic UAE arbitral award?) may still produce a preferable outcome for a successful party wishing to enforce a domestic UAE arbitral award. The arbitration community looks forward to further guidance from the JT.

DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Rules 2016

The DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre (DIFC-LCIA) released a new set of Arbitration Rules (the 2016 Rules) on 1 October 2016,16 which apply to all arbitrations commenced on or after that date. These changes are aimed at improving the efficiency of arbitrations conducted under the DIFC-LCIA Rules, as well as bringing the Rules in line with other leading arbitral institutions in areas such as emergency arbitrators. We summarise the changes into the following broad areas.

(i)   Improving efficiency: the 2016 Rules provide for greater use of the DIFC-LCIA online filing system for most submissions, including the request (Rule 1.2) and response (Rule 2.2), as well as the final award (Rule 26.7). Multiparty disputes are now specifically provided for (Rule 1.5 and 2.5), and parties may elect to treat their request or response as a statement of case or defence (Rule 15.2 and 15.3).

(ii)  Rewards and sanctions for conduct: new in the 2016 Rules, the Tribunal is expressly entitled to reward and punish parties for cooperative or unreasonable conduct when allocating costs (Rule 28.4 and 28.5).

(iii) Emergency arbitrator: for the first time, the 2016 Rules establish the framework for the use of emergency arbitrators (Rule 9B), who will normally be appointed by the LCIA Court within three days of a party’s application. Such emergency arbitrator may conduct emergency proceedings to determine a party’s claim for emergency relief, including protective measures, pending the Tribunal’s formation. These provisions are without prejudice to the parties’ recourse to the competent court for preliminary or injunctive applications.

(iv) Consolidation of proceedings: the 2016 Rules provide that one or more arbitrations may be consolidated into a single arbitration if the parties agree (Rule 22.1 (ix)), or where the other arbitration is (i) also a DIFC-LCIA arbitration arising out of the same or compatible arbitration agreement, and (ii) where the Tribunal is either yet to be appointed, or consists of the same arbitrators (Rule 22.1 (x)).

These and other similar changes in the 2016 Rules reflect a broader trend in the global arbitration centres towards faster, leaner and better managed arbitrations.

Abu Dhabi Global Market

The ADGM was established in 2013 as an offshore free zone within Abu Dhabi, having a civil and commercial legal regime which is broadly independent from onshore Abu Dhabi.17 However, it was from 2015 onwards that the ADGM started to make major strides promoting itself, and this included formation of the legal framework that governs the free zone.

With the enactment of the ADGM Arbitration Regulations 2015 (the Regulations), the ADGM became the second offshore arbitral jurisdiction in the UAE (alongside the DIFC). The Regulations are based on the UNCITRAL Model Law, representing modern international arbitration practice and procedure. The question is, who would sign up to the ADGM as an arbitral seat?

As we have seen with the DIFC, there are two ways in which the ADGM’s appeal as an arbitral jurisdiction could be broadened – first, an increase in the number of companies established within the ADGM, bringing with it more companies who would choose the ADGM as the ‘home’ jurisdiction, and second, opening up the ADGM as a jurisdiction to serve the needs of companies who do not otherwise have any connection with ADGM. To the latter end, it is important for the ADGM to demonstrate ease of enforcing ADGM courts’ judgments and ADGM-seated arbitral awards in onshore Abu Dhabi, and the ADGM Arbitration Regulations and ADGM courts provide a solid foundation for this.

On 19 April 2016, the ADGM signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, reflecting the parties’ intention to facilitate the enforcement of the ADGM courts’ judgments and arbitral awards in the Abu Dhabi courts. On 16 May 2016, a similar MOU was signed with the UAE Ministry of Justice, in the context of the federal courts (which cover the five emirates of the UAE excluding Abu Dhabi and Dubai).

Clause 4(4) of the MOU between the ADGM courts and the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department provides that the parties shall cooperate in ‘Facilitation of the judicial cooperation procedures by both parties, specifically with respect to the procedures of recognition and reciprocal enforcement of certified judgments, decisions, orders and arbitration awards in a manner that does not contradict the laws regulating the same’, with Clause 3(4) of the MOU with the UAE Ministry of Justice reading substantially the same.

The MOUs are an encouraging step towards clarifying the system for recognition of the ADGM Court judgments and arbitral awards in onshore UAE, which is vital if the ADGM intends to service more than just those companies located within the ADGM. The arbitration community will be closely watching for further developments.

A central question concerning the development of the ADGM as an arbitral seat is the level of support it will receive from the Abu Dhabi government. Until now, the preferred method of dispute resolution for public bodies and state-owned companies has been either local court litigation or an onshore seated Abu Dhabi arbitration under the rules of Abu Dhabi Commercial Conciliation and Arbitration Centre (ADCCAC Rules). It would be a significant boost towards gaining a critical mass if the Abu Dhabi government is willing to allow and encourage the use of the ADGM as the arbitral seat by public bodies and state-owned companies. Without such endorsement, it will be very challenging for the ADGM to quickly become a credible arbitral seat.

Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre

Officially launched in November 2016, the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre (EMAC) was established as a dedicated arbitration centre to deal with maritime disputes in the UAE, the first of its kind in the Middle East. Its Rules18 are tailored to the often time-sensitive nature of maritime disputes, with a particular focus on speed and flexibility. For example, the Rules provide for a sole arbitrator by default (article 10), electronic service of the notice of arbitration (article 3) and response to the notice (article 4) via the EMAC website, and appointment of an emergency arbitrator who will produce an award on claims for interim relief within 14 days (article 12).

Unlike the DIFC and the ADGM, the EMAC is not an arbitral seat. However, the default seat under the EMAC Rules is the DIFC, which brings with it the benefits of the DIFC arbitration and enforcement framework, including the DIFC Arbitration Law and mutual recognition of DIFC enforcement judgments in onshore UAE, helping the successful party avoid the time, cost and uncertainty of an enforcement proceeding in the UAE courts.

Onshore UAE developments

Arbitrator’s criminal liability

Perhaps the most widely discussed development among the arbitration community in 2016 was the Federal Decree,19 which amended article 257 the UAE Penal Code.20 Prior to the amendment, the scope of article 257 was limited to court-appointed experts and translators. However, with effect from 29 October 2016, the amended article 257 specifically refers to arbitrators:

Anyone who issues a decision, expresses an opinion, submits a report, presents a case or proves an incident in favour of or against a person, in contravention of the requirements of the duty of neutrality and integrity, while acting in his capacity as an arbitrator, expert, translator or fact finder appointed by an administrative or judicial authority or selected by the parties, shall be punished by temporary imprisonment.

The aforesaid categories of persons shall be barred from assuming once again the responsibilities with which they were tasked in the first instance, and shall be subject to the provisions of Article 255 of this law.

In other words, an arbitrator who fails in his or her duty of neutrality and integrity not only risks being barred from acting as an arbitrator in the UAE in the future, but also imprisonment. It is not known what prompted the specific reference to arbitrators in this Decree.

A major challenge at this point is the paucity of details on this Decree, both in terms of the law itself and the lack of any guidance from the Ministry of Justice on its scope and application, which may have otherwise assuaged the concerns of the arbitration community. For example, while it is commendable to remind arbitrators of the need for neutrality and integrity, it is not clear what ‘the requirements of the duty of neutrality and integrity’ for the purposes of this Decree are, and hence what test or threshold would apply. Neither is it clear whether a conscious or positive intention is required in this article – on a straightforward reading of the words of the Decree, it appears that arbitrators may unwittingly be risking their careers and even their liberty.

The reaction from the arbitration community has been understandably negative and, unsurprisingly, it is arbitrators who have reacted with the most alarm; there are reports of arbitrators not only declining appointments in new UAE-seated arbitrations, but also resigning from ongoing appointments. While the former is understandable, resigning from a current arbitration is itself a risky course of action – in such cases, arbitrators face liability to compensate the parties under article 207(2) of the UAE Civil Procedure Code,21 while article 22 of the DIFC Arbitration Law22 also specifically provides that arbitrators remain liable for the consequences of their resignation.

Some commentators suggest that there has been an overreaction to this development, arguing that the thresholds will be set sufficiently high and that the criminal prosecution process does not allow for whimsical prosecutions; consequently, arbitrators are unlikely to face the full force of the UAE criminal justice system unless their behaviour is ‘beyond the pale’. Our experience of the criminal justice system in the UAE suggests that such a view may be correct, but this is unlikely to be sufficient comfort to the arbitrators who could face an unwarranted criminal action against them from a vexatious party.

For infringements of the type contemplated by the article, the aggrieved party must first lodge a criminal complaint with the police, providing details (and supporting documentary evidence, if any) of what is alleged to have taken place. The police then summon the respondent for an interview, inviting his or her account of the events, and any relevant documents, if appropriate. These are collated and forwarded to the public prosecution service, which decides whether there is a criminal case to answer. Only if it does would the respondent become subject to the range of measures available to the police, such as confinement, confiscation of passports and freezing orders on assets.

Regardless of whether the article ultimately manifests itself in actual cases and convictions, this widely maligned development is undoubtedly a blemish on the UAE’s otherwise steady progress in recent years towards becoming a leading arbitration-friendly jurisdiction in the Middle East. Unless the Ministry of Justice follows the recommendation of the arbitration community and repeals the amendment, or at the very least provides detailed guidance on the scope and application of the article, arbitrators will justifiably think twice before accepting appointments in the UAE; the UAE’s reputation as a progressive and arbitration-friendly jurisdiction will suffer irreparable harm unless the Ministry of Justice acts now.

Noteworthy arbitration judgments from 2016

For the most part, 2016 saw evidence of encouraging progress by UAE courts towards a more consistent and pragmatic approach to arbitration-related cases, and we are cautiously optimistic that this may be a positive trend going forward.

We highlight below some of the noteworthy judgments that deal with issues ranging from authority to sign the arbitration agreement to the res judicata status of an arbitration award.

Authority to arbitration agreements

Authority to enter into arbitration agreements is a commonly raised ground for resisting enforcement of an arbitral award in the UAE, where an award debtor will seek to argue that the court should set aside an arbitral award because the representative from one of the parties did not have the requisite authority to sign the arbitration agreement.

A number of judgments from 2016 dealt with different aspects of this issue. The first23 concerned the issue of which law governs the requirement for entering into an arbitration agreement, where a UAE company was the losing party for the award from an arbitration seated in London. In resisting enforcement under the New York Convention in the UAE, the award debtor sought to argue that the award should be set aside because the manner of execution of the arbitration agreement did not comply with the authority requirements of UAE law, where the award debtor was incorporated. However, the Dubai Court of Cassation held that the law governing the requirements for entering into an arbitration agreement was English law, where the arbitration took place, and not UAE law, and ordered the enforcement of the award.

In the case of Ginette v Geary,24 the DIFC Courts considered the issue of whether the doctrine of ‘apparent authority’ applies to the signatory of an arbitration agreement. In this case, Ginette PJSC, the award debtor, sought to set aside a DIFC-LCIA arbitral award on the basis that its executive managing director who signed the arbitration agreement (as part of a settlement agreement) did not have express authority to sign arbitration agreements, contrary to the requirements of article 103 of the Old UAE Commercial Companies Law.25 This argument did not find favour with the DIFC Court, which found that Ginette’s signatory had held himself out as having the requisite authority to sign the settlement agreement on its behalf and, as such, it was bound in accordance with articles 130 and 131 of the DIFC Contract Law.26

Interestingly, the DIFC Court went on to consider whether the position would have been different under UAE law, and concluded that the outcome would have been the same. In doing so, it considered article 25 of the New UAE Commercial Companies Law,27 which provides that a company may not disclaim liability to another party on the grounds that the managing director was not duly authorised, provided that the managing director’s actions are within the usual scope of his or her responsibility. However, the judgment did not address the tension between article 25 of the New UAE Commercial Companies Law and:

  • articles 58(2) and 203(4) of the UAE Civil Procedure Code,28 which require the signatory to have specific authority; and
  • article 154 of the New UAE Commercial Companies Law, which states that the board of directors of a PJSC may not agree on arbitration unless specifically authorised to do so under the company’s articles of association, or passes a special resolution to grant a director the relevant authority.

It will be interesting to see the approach taken by UAE courts on this issue, and whether article 25 of the New UAE Commercial Companies Law29 provides any relief for award creditors who are faced with the oft-cited defence of lack of authority by the signatory to the arbitration agreement.

The res judicata effect of arbitral awards

A recent Dubai Court of Cassation judgment30 provided guidance on the res judicata effect of arbitral awards. A dispute had arisen over an agreement which provided that disputes shall be resolved by arbitration, but did not otherwise provide details of the method of appointing the Tribunal or the appointing authority. The claimant approached the DIAC for the appointment of an arbitrator, who was duly appointed and who heard the dispute, and an award was issued disposing of the dispute. The respondent filed parallel proceedings for both the annulment of the award, and an application for the court’s appointment of a new arbitrator to hear the dispute.

In its judgment, the Dubai Court of Cassation confirmed in August 2016 that an arbitration award is a conclusive determination of the dispute, and has res judicata effect immediately following issue of the award; only a successful annulment will remove such effect from an arbitration award. Moreover, the res judicata effect is not impacted by the fact of a court’s review of the award, and neither is it contingent on a further procedural step such as recognition by a competent court for enforcement. Therefore, the respondent’s application for the appointment of a new arbitrator to hear the dispute again was rejected, as the extant arbitration award disposed of the dispute.


  1. Federal Law No. (11) of 1992 (the Civil Procedure Code).
  2. Federal Decree Law No. 7 of 2016.
  3. Federal Law No. (3) of 1987 (the Penal Code).
  4. Article 257 of Federal Law No (3) of 1987 (the Penal Code).
  5. X1 and X2 v Y1 and Y2 (Arb-002-2013).
  6. Article 7 of Dubai Law No. 12 of 2004 as amended.
  7. Meydan Group LLC v Banyan Tree Corporate Pte Ltd (CA-005-2014).
  8. DNB Bank ASA v Gulf Eyadah (CA-007-2015).
  9. DNB Bank ASA v Gulf Eyadah (CA-007-2015).
  10. Dubai Decree No. (19) of 2016 (‘Concerning the establishment of a Judicial Tribunal for the Dubai Courts and DIFC Courts’).
  11. Cassation No. 1/2016 (Judicial Tribunal).
  12. DIFC Law No. (1) of 2008 (the Arbitration Law).
  13. Cassation No. 1/2016 (Judicial Tribunal) - ‘There is no similarity between this case and the case when it’s sought to enforce or annul a foreign award in several jurisdictions pursuant to New York convention 1958.’
  14. X1 and X2 v Y1 and Y2 (Arb-002-2013).
  15. Meydan Group LLC v Banyan Tree Corporate Pte Ltd (CA-005-2014).
  16. DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Rules (effective 1 October 2016).
  17. Abu Dhabi Law No. (4) of 2013.
  18. EMAC Arbitration Rules (effective 23 June 2016).
  19. Federal Decree Law No. 7 of 2016.
  20. Federal Law No. (3) of 1987 (the Penal Code).
  21. Federal Law No. (11) of 1992 (the Civil Procedure Code).
  22. DIFC Law No. (1) of 2008 (the Arbitration Law).
  23. Commercial Appeal No. 693/2015 (Dubai Court of Cassation).
  24. Ginette PJSC v (1) Geary Middle East FZE (2) Geary Limited (CA-005-2016) dated 9 October 2016.
  25. Federal Law No. (8) of 1984 (the Old UAE Commercial Companies Law).
  26. DIFC Law No. (6) of 2004 (the Contract Law).
  27. Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 concerning Commercial Companies (the New UAE Commercial Companies Law).
  28. Federal Law No. (11) of 1992 (the Civil Procedure Code).
  29. Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 concerning Commercial Companies (the New UAE Commercial Companies Law).
  30. Commercial Appeal No. 199/2014 (the Dubai Court of Cassation).


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