United Arab Emirates - Chapter 17 - The Practitioner's Guide to Arbitration in the Middle East and North Africa
Essam Al Tamimi and Emma van Son, Al Tamimi & Company
A. Arbitration Laws
1. Please identify by title and date the principal laws and regulations governing (i) domestic and (ii) international arbitration in your State.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) does not have independent legislation governing domestic and international arbitration. Therefore, all arbitrations under UAE law are principally governed by the UAE Civil Procedure Law, Federal Law No (11) of 1992 (“CPL”). Although the primary purpose of the CPL is to govern court proceedings before local and federal courts, there are a small number of sections which specifically address arbitration:
• Articles 203 to 218 set out the general framework for arbitration in the UAE;
• Articles 235 to 238 govern the enforcement of foreign judgments;
• Articles 239 to 243 govern execution procedures.
The articles referenced above respect the parties’ agreement to arbitrate and provide for the recognition of arbitration in the UAE. The articles are brief and provide a minimum platform for the parties’ agreement to arbitrate.
However, the current law is under review, and a draft form of a new Federal Arbitration Law was circulated earlier this year for public comment. Once enacted the new Federal Arbitration Law, which is based on the UNCITRAL Model Law, will replace the existing provisions of the CPL. The new law was expected to be enacted by the Federal Government during 2008, but has been delayed.