Summary: Richard Davies together with Charles Lilley and Raza Mithani give an overview of the new arbitration law, its key features and explain how this significant move forward is going to make arbitration in the country more efficient.

The video covers the concept of the seat of the arbitration, why a well-regarded seat matters, and why the old law was considered to give rise to too many challenges and not harmonised with other jurisdictions with more modern arbitration regulations (such as Dubai International Financial Centre and Abu Dhabi Global Market). The partners explain that in mid-1980’s, UNCITRAL wrote a modern arbitration law which has since then been updated, taken up by many countries and now forms the basis of the UAE arbitration law passed this year. They give an overview of some of the new features (for example, the fact that it has now clarified that the tribunal members do not need to be within the UAE when they sign the Award; that it has some positive inclusions regarding time limits; etc.).

There seems to be some lack of clarity over transitional arrangements, with the law being applicable to ongoing arbitrations, so it remains to be seen how exactly that is going to work in practice. It is concluded that, in general terms, the new law is overwhelmingly a good thing for clients and practitioners alike.

It is going to make arbitration much more efficient, will keep costs down and remove a number of the existing uncertainties with the old law.