Federal Law no. 6 of 2018, better known as the Federal Arbitration Law, entered into force in the United Arab Emirates on June 14, 2018. Before that, arbitration, which was commonplace in the UAE despite not having a dedicated law, was governed by Articles 203 to 218 of the Civil Procedures Code of 1992.

The new Law, which is broadly based on the UNCITRAL Model Law and in consistency with its provisions, provides for limited grounds to rescind an arbitral award, and grants the arbitral tribunal the authority to rule on its own jurisdiction. Furthermore, the Law includes provisions designed to promote efficiency in arbitration and to prevent significant delays.

As to the scope of its application, the Law applies to domestic and international arbitration proceedings. Furthermore, the Law grants the arbitral tribunal extended powers within and according to the parties’ agreement.

The Law brings the UAE’s arbitration framework in line with international practice. This is indicative of the country’s aspiration to position itself as an arbitration hub, both locally, regionally, and internationally.