Dubai’s DIFC Sets Up Dispute Settlement Authority

The move is in line with the UAE’s Vision 2021, which calls for an effective dispute settlement mechanism to attract more business to the region.



Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has issued a new law, establishing a dispute settlement authority at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), state news agency WAM reported.

The move is in line with the UAE’s Vision 2021, which calls for an effective dispute settlement mechanism to attract more business to the region.

According to the law, which is an amendment of an earlier legislation, the new authority will consist of three bodies. They include DIFC courts, an arbitration body and any other subsidiary committees or institutions established under the laws and regulations of the DIFC, a statement said.

The dispute settlement authority will be an independent legal entity and will have the scope to exercise its functions without any interference from other DIFC bodies.

The president of DIFC’s courts will head the new body, WAM said.

The law also included detailed provisions on the arbitration body, which was granted legal status and an independent budget, provided it adheres to all DIFC regulations. The body will have a board of trustees who will be headed by a chief executive, the statement said.

DIFC courts provide investors with an option to use English language in litigation and aim to provide speedy solutions to disputes between firms.

The DIFC has also been active in forging ties with other judicial bodies around the world in a bid to attract more foreign investors to the country.

Last year it signed a similar Memorandum of Guidance with the Supreme Court of New South Wales in Australia, and another with the Commercial Court of England and Wales.

Experts say that these agreements will be instrumental in boosting foreign investor confidence as they define issues such as mutual enforcement of judgments across jurisdictions. This will in turn assure companies that their contractual obligations will be met when operating in the UAE.