UAE Government issues amendments to Arbitration Law
The UAE Government last month issued critical amendments to Federal Law No. 6 of 2018 on Arbitration (“Arbitration Law”). The amendments to the Arbitration Law promulgated under Federal Law No. 15 of 2023 (“Amendments") bring about material changes to the arbitration procedures and protocols under UAE Law. The Amendments address requirements to be met by the arbitrator including procedure, place of arbitration and the arbitration hearings.
Key Developments under the Amendments
The arbitration centre shall be entitled to proceed with the appointment of an arbitrator from the board of directors or the trustee and in case of any conflict (which must be informed to the centre), such appointment shall be validated by the centre through its systems and processes in place to manage conflicts;
The parties to an arbitration proceeding shall be entitled to agree upon process, procedures and rules of evidence as per agreement between themselves. If there is a lack of consensus then the arbitration centre shall have the authority (for each case) to apply its discretion process, procedures and rules of evidence in accordance with rules implemented by any arbitration centre in the UAE or outside the UAE as long as these comply with rules of natural justice and international conventions; and
The arbitration tribunal shall be able to determine, at its discretion, whether oral arguments are necessary or dispense with oral submissions and rely solely on written submission
The above developments are a critical enhancement to the UAE’s arbitration regime and hold promise towards a faster and more efficient dispute resolution process. The legal community has received the changes positively and it is expected to enhance the UAE's competitiveness as a choice of jurisdiction for alternative dispute resolution.
The Amendments go into effect within one month from the date of publication in the legal gazette.