Annual DIAC Conference Examines Impact Of UAE Arbitration Law
The contemplated new DIAC Rules will aim to ensure better alignment with the developments in the international arbitration field
Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) recently held its annual conference in Dubai examining key aspects of the new UAE Arbitration Law and their impact on the DIAC Arbitration Rules, which apply to all disputes referred to DIAC arbitration.
The conference, organised as part of Dubai Arbitration Week, attracted 200 participants, including legal experts, judges, businessmen and academics. Presentations and sessions familiarized attendees with the standards and procedures for dispute resolution under the existing DIAC Arbitration Rules in light of the new UAE Arbitration Law.
During the conference, it was announced that the expected new DIAC Arbitration Rules, aligned with internationals standards, will cover important matters of interest the international legal community.
Panel discussions during the conference outlined the key benefits and improvements introduced under the UAE Arbitration Law of 2018, including a more secure framework for arbitration in the UAE and establishing it as a more arbitration-friendly jurisdiction.
During his opening remarks, Dr. Ahmad Bin AlShaikh, Chairman of the DIAC Board of Trustees, shed light on the newly-formed board’s strategies and plans aimed at boosting Dubai’s position as a global centre for commercial arbitration. The Chairman emphasised the purpose of the annual conference as an ideal platform to inform arbitrators, legal practitioners and the business community in Dubai about important arbitration-related matters and best practices in resolving disputes through arbitration and conciliation.
For his part, Dr. Ahmad Bin Hezeem, Vice Chairman of the DIAC Board of Trustees and Chairman of the DIAC Executive Committee, gave an overview of DIAC’s history and its activities. He revealed that more than 2,500 cases have already been administered by DIAC since 2007, with an average value of disputes settled per year totalling to AED 5.6 billion since 2010 until present.
Dr. Bin Hezeem highlighted the Centre’s experience in managing complex disputes relating to different sectors, including real estate, engineering and construction, corporate and commercial, and oil and gas.
The conference featured a panel discussion joined by Nassif Boumalhab, Lead Partner - Clyde & Co LLP; Fatima Balfaqeeh, Founder & Managing Director of RKAH Consultancy; and Dr. Mohamed S. Abdel Wahab, Founding Partner - Zulficar & Partners. The panellists examined a wide range of arbitration practices related to pre-award issuance procedures, the validity of arbitration agreements, including following annulment of final awards, various approaches to the issue of capacity to sign arbitration agreements and potential challenges of awards on jurisdiction and other interim awards.
Joining a separate discussion panel entitled Post-Award Issuance Considerations: from Issuance to the Enforcement of the Award were Ali Al Aidarous, Founder and Managing Attorney - Ali Al Aidarous; Reza Mohtashami, Partner - Three Crowns LLP; and Sally Kotb, Counsel - Baker & McKenzie Habib Al Mulla. The panellists discussed existing requirements for final awards, signing of arbitral awards, benchmarking the DIAC Rules with the UAE Arbitration Law, processes for enforcements under the new UAE Arbitration Law and recent amendments and court decisions related to the regime of enforcement of foreign awards.
The conference concluded with the closing remarks from Dr. Hassan Arab, member of the DIAC Board of Trustees,
Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC), being the largest arbitration centre in the Middle East, provides local and international business communities with arbitration and conciliation services. DIAC was initially established by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 1994 as the Centre for Commercial Conciliation and Arbitration.