Originally from World Arbitration And Mediation Review (WAMR)
This article provides an overview and appraisal of the developments of international arbitration in Dubai. Dubai, a beacon for the growth of international arbitration in the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), is on the verge of achieving its goal of becoming an international centre of arbitration. As such, a closer look is necessary regarding the growing role of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) seated arbitration and the enforcement of arbitral awards in Dubai.
II. DIFC SEATED ARBITRATION
The DIFC is in essence a jurisdiction within a jurisdiction1 or, another way to put it, a seat within a seat. The creation of the DIFC financial free trade zone as it exists today in Dubai was largely motivated by the UAE’s desire to attract foreign investment and to position itself as a Middle East business hub.
The DIFC Court is a common law jurisdiction and acts as the independent judiciary of the DIFC.2 Recently, DIFC arbitration and its jurisdictional reach have moved from arbitration limited to the jurisdiction created by the DIFC into a system of international arbitration that has the advantage of delocalisation. Prior to the 2008 DIFC Law,3 “arbitrations conducted in the DIFC were limited to disputes only connected with the DIFC.”4