On September 14, 2021, Decree No. 34 of 2021 was issued at the Dubai International Arbitration Center (hereinafter “the Decree”) by the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. It entered into force after publication in the Official Gazette of the Government of Dubai No. 531 on September 20, 2021.
It is based on 10 articles. It was published accompanied by the new Statute of the Dubai International Arbitration Center (DIAC), which in turn consists of 25 articles. The latter is closely related to the regulation and management of the Dubai International Arbitration Center (“DIAC”).
Our clients should be aware of some significant changes that have affected arbitration in the Emirate of Dubai. Check out the main ones:
The abolition of two arbitration centers. Each of them is located at the Dubai International Financial Center:
a. the DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre (the DIFC Arbitration Institute) (“DIFC-LCIA”);
b. the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre (“EMAC”);
All assets from them will be transferred to DIAC;
It was decided by the Chairman of the DIAC Board of Directors to move all employees to its center;
Arbitration agreements between the two companies mentioned above must be active. If the parties do not agree otherwise, DIAC replaces them already considering any disputes that are directly related to arbitration agreements;
arbitration courts that were formed by DIFC-LCIA и EMAC companies will be supervised by DIAC unless the companies agree on another;
Dubai courts will continue to resolve issues related to arbitration DIAC, DIFC-LCIA и EMAC;
Before the norms of the abolished centers, before the appearance of the new rules of arbitration by DIAC;
Starting from the entry into force of the Decree on September 20, 2021 DIAC must comply with the provisions of the Decree and Regulations by March 19, 2022;
in the absence of an agreement on the seat of arbitration, the default place will be DIFC Law No. 1 of 2008 as amended;
DIAC’s organisational structure shall comprise:
- The Board of Directors where the number of members does not exceed 9, to be appointed by the Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai;
- The Court of Arbitration where the number of members does not exceed 13, including its President and Vice-President;
to be appointed by the Board of Directors;
- The Administrative Body performing administrative functions under the supervision of its Executive Director.
Please find a copy of the Official Gazette for the Government of Dubai No. 531 enclosed with this client alert.
Now we and our clients are waiting for how the new changes Decree No. 34 of 2021 will affect the legal landscape and how these changes will be put into practice.
You can contact us if the new changes may affect your existing arbitration agreement, or if you are interested in reviewing its provisions.