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UAE Enforcing Foreign Arbitral Awards

Until the issuance of Federal Law, number 6 of 2018, the arbitrations conducted inside the country and enforcement of local or foreign arbitrations were regulated by the Civil Procedure Code of UAE. It is not uncommon to mention that the promulgation of Arbitration law has eased the procedure for initiating arbitration or its enforcement for local and international parties. The present article by Arbitration Lawyers of Dubai explicitly discusses the procedure for enforcing arbitration awards issued outside the country. 

Applicability of the Law 

Article 2 of the Arbitration Law defines its applicability in the following circumstances: 

  • Any arbitration which was conducted within the country, unless the parties agree to a different governing law subjected that such legislation does not dissent with the public policy of UAE;
  • Any international arbitration conducted outside the country wherein the parties explicitly submits themselves under this Law;
  • Any arbitration arising as a result of a dispute regarding the relationship of contractual or non-contractual situation, regulated by UAE law, unless otherwise excluded by a specific provision. 

It is pertinent to understand that the arbitral awards issued outside the country till date can be enforced either under the provisions of Federal Arbitration law or under the Civil Procedure Law. However, the current article discusses the procedure explicitly for implementing award issued outside the country under the new arbitration law. Having said that, Article 55 of the arbitration law lays down the procedure for ratifying an arbitration award, wherein the preliminary requirement is to submit the award along with following documents with the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal: 

  • Original award or its certified copy;
  • Legally translated arbitral award in Arabic and it should be duly attested;
  • The agreement for arbitration signed between the parties;
  • Copy of minutes of such arbitral award. 

In addition, the law obliges the enforcing authority in the court to ratify or enforce the award within 60 days from the date of submission of the request, unless the court finds some grounds to set aside the award as per the arbitration law. The preceding obligation sets out a time limit within which the award shall be ratified if the application and the documents provided by the applicant suffice the requirements. However, the parties still face multiple issues in ratifying the awards as the Law provides multiple grounds to challenge its validity as per Article 53 of the Law. 

The civil lawyers of Dubai have gained significant experience in seeking enforcement of awards under this Law since its issuance. They have filed several suits for challenging its validity under the UAE law. As per the procedure, the application is registered as an order on the petition before a circuit of chief justice of the court of appeal and order accepted or issued by the Chief Justice shall be immediately enforced or implemented and will undoubtedly authorize the award creditor to undertake all relevant execution procedures to execute the judgment. Civil Lawyers of Dubai strongly believes that the procedure of enforcement under the Arbitration law is promising and enables the award creditor to receive a favorable response within a short span of time. 

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