DIFC Court of Appeal confirms its jurisdiction to recognise and enforce awards rendered outside of the DIFC

In Banyan Tree v Meydan Group LLC (Case CA-005-2-14), the DIFC Court of Appeal has confirmed its jurisdiction to recognise and enforce arbitral awards rendered outside the DIFC even when neither party is based or has assets in the DIFC. The decision is not particularly surprising given the law was clear on this point. However, both debtors had assets in onshore Dubai and neither had assets in the DIFC and, while there is no reason for the DIFC Courts to refuse jurisdiction or indeed to refuse to enforce the awards in the DIFC, it does raise the question as to why the creditors did not immediately seek recognition and enforcement in the Dubai courts.

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Is your Arbitration Agreement Valid in the United Arab Emirates?

Herbert Smith Freehills’ Saloni Kantaria has published an article in issue 80.1. 2014 of the International Journal of Arbitration entitled “Is your Arbitration Agreement Valid in the United Arab Emirates?” The article gives an overview of the options for resolving disputes in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and examines the distictions between UAE law and DIFC arbitration law on what constitutes a valid arbitration agreement. The article also gives some tips on ensuring your arbitration agreement is valid and the approach the UAE and DIFC courts are taking to arbitration agreements in circumstances where a party tries to commence parallel court proceedings.

To read the full article, please click here.

Reproduced with permission from (2014) 80(1) Arbitration © 2014 Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

For more information, please contact Saloni Kantaria, Senior Associate, or your usual Herbert Smith Freehills contact.

Saloni Kantaria
Saloni Kantaria
Senior Associate
+971 56 644 2127

Getting The Deal Through – Investment Treaty Arbitration 2014 – United Arab Emirates Chapter

Herbert Smith Freehills’ Mike McClure and Robert Stephen have contributed the United Arab Emirates chapter to the 2014 edition of Getting The Deal Through – Investment Treaty Arbitration. The article gives an overview of the laws and institutions, agreements and proceedings applicable to inbound foreign investment in the United Arab Emirates.

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Enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Dubai: a set back?

The Dubai Court of Cassation has refused to enforce a foreign arbitral award on the basis that it did not have jurisdiction under the UAE’s Civil Procedure Code. In doing so, the court upheld earlier rulings from two lower courts that the UAE Courts’ international jurisdiction over foreign parties is a matter of public policy. It also determined that under the New York Convention foreign arbitral awards were to be governed in accordance with the UAE’s Civil Procedure Code. This decision is likely to be viewed with concern by arbitration practitioners based in Dubai and worldwide.

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Enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Dubai

In September last year, the highest court in Dubai upheld two DIFC-LCIA awards under the New York Convention (Airmech v Macsteel International). While a decision to enforce foreign arbitral awards is not in itself newsworthy in a number of jurisdictions, enforcement of foreign awards has historically not been common place in the UAE, or the Middle East more generally. However, this decision is the latest of a number of decisions over the past two years enforcing foreign arbitral awards in Dubai and it would appear to be representative of a trend towards a more developed pro-arbitration culture.

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