New Unified Litigation and Arbitration Body for DIFC

2 June 2014

On Wednesday, 28 May 2014, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid announced Dubai law No. 7 of 2014 amending Law No. 9 of 2004 which established the Dubai International Financial Centre. The new law introduces a “Disputes Resolution Authority” comprising the DIFC Courts, an arbitration body and “other subsidiary committees or institutions established under the laws and regulations of the DIFC”.

The law also sets out the commitment of the Government of Dubai to provide the most appropriate options for investors not only in terms of the use of the English language in litigation, but also in terms of the possibility to choose between litigation and arbitration, in addition to providing speedy and independent justice to settle disputes, be they domestic, international commercial and civil, ensuring the achievement of justice not only in the Emirate of Dubai and UAE, but also in the region at large.

The new Authority will be independent of other DIFC bodies and headed by Chief Justice Michael Hwang SC, the current president of the DIFC Courts. In a statement Justice Hwang said,

“The amendments to Law No 9 build on the achievements of the DIFC Courts and Dubai World Tribunal, and create a trusted one-stop shop for litigation and arbitration, with the capacity for additional expansion over time. By allowing all those operating in the Emirate to choose how best to resolve their disputes, through litigation or arbitration, the authority will increase confidence and promote growth, representing another important step in the journey to make the UAE one of the best places in the world to do business.”