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The Changing Lex Arbitri of the UAE

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image of Arab Law Quarterly

The United Arab Emirates has experienced rapid economic growth in the last decade. As part of the Federation's broader plan to attract foreign investment, an ambitious program of commercial legal modernization was undertaken. The UAE has never had a dedicated arbitration law—arbitration is governed by a handful of articles of the Federal Code of Civil Procedure. One of the tasks given to the Ministry of Economy was to produce a sui generis statute that would bring UAE arbitration law into line with international best practice. A draft of the Federal Law on Arbitration and the Enforcement of Arbitral Awards was released for comment in 2008, and, after a positive reception, the new law is awaiting promulgation. This paper is intended to introduce UAE arbitration law and explain the main differences between the outgoing Civil Code regime and the incoming framework of the new federal arbitration law.

Affiliations: 1: Lecturer, School of Law, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA, Australia;, Email:


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