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If Parties Agree Upon the Arbitrator in Their Contract, They May Not Apply To the Court To Nominate Another Arbitrator

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image of Arab Law Quarterly

In an action filed by a local company which had contracted to build commercial premises for the defendant, the Dubai Court of Cassation held that the plaintiff may not apply to the court requesting the court to refer a dispute to arbitration or to nominate another arbitrator if the parties have agreed in their contracts to refer their dispute to arbitration and have nominated the arbitrator, unless the arbitrator has resigned or was unable to act or there was a legal reason preventing him from acting as an arbitrator. Otherwise, the parties must adhere to their agreement and may not apply to the court to change the arbitrator or cancel the arbitration clause. Accordingly, the court dismissed the plaintiff's action on the grounds that the plaintiff had failed to prove to the court that one of these conditions applied to this case. The court held that there was no evidence to show that the arbitrator nominated by the parties refused to act in this case nor was there legal evidence to prevent him from acting. Accordingly, the action was dismissed and the judgment delivered by the Court of First Instance was upheld.


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