UAE issues New Arbitration Law Federal Law No 6

UAE issues New Arbitration Law Federal Law No 6


Essam Al Tamimi, Senior Partner
Dr. Hassan Arab, Partner, Co-Head of Litigation
Thomas Snider – Partner, Head of Arbitration


His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates, has issued Federal Law No. 6 of 2018, which formally promulgates a new arbitration law for the UAE and repeals the previous provisions contained within the Arbitration Chapter of the UAE Civil Procedures Law No. 11 of 1992.

The new law will enter into effect one month following the day of its publication and will apply to all arbitral proceedings that are ongoing at the time the law comes into effect.

The much-awaited self-standing arbitration law of 61 articles, which is based on the UNCITRAL Model Law, will significantly revamp UAE arbitration law. The new law is expected to build the UAE’s reputation as a preferred seat for international arbitration in the region, since it is aligned with international best practice and standards.

Some of the key highlights of the new arbitration law include:

  1. Application to local and international arbitrations in line with the UNCITRAL Model Law and international practice
  2. The principles of separability and competence-competence
  3. Both arbitral tribunals and courts (through the president of the court) have the power to order interim and conservatory measures relating to ongoing or potential arbitrations; the fact that the court has ordered such measures does not mean that the parties have waived their right to arbitrate
  4. Clarification on the competent court and its powers
  5. Confirmation that electronic writings satisfy the requirement that the arbitration clause be in writing
  6. Limited restrictions on the requirements of arbitrators
  7. Enforceability of interim and partial awards
  8. An arbitration award need not be physically signed by the arbitral tribunal in the seat
  9. Annulment (total or partial) must be initiated within 30 days of notification of the award to the parties
  10. An application for annulment does not automatically stay enforcement proceedings
  11. The Minister of Economy will coordinate with the arbitration institutions in the UAE in order to issue a charter on the professional conduct of arbitrators

The UAE’s legal community welcomes this positive development and looks forward to a new chapter in arbitration in the UAE.

Essam Al Tamimi, Senior Partner at Al Tamimi & Company, said that “this state-of-the-art arbitration law will fortify the UAE’s position as the leading arbitral seat in the MENA region.  It is a landmark law that is the best arbitration law in the region.”

Dr. Hassan Arab, Deputy Managing Partner and Co-Head of Litigation, commented that “the much-anticipated new law will bring clarity to the conduct of arbitrations seated in the UAE as well arbitration-related court proceedings.”

Thomas R. Snider, Partner and Head of Arbitration, stated that “with this new law, the UAE has achieved a critical milestone in fostering arbitration as a leading and reliable form of dispute resolution for all types of commercial and construction disputes in the country.”

Watch Thomas Snider discuss what the law covers

An unofficial English translation of the law can also be found here.

Al Tamimi & Company will be rolling out a series of client seminars to introduce clients to the new law and discuss its impact on their business.

Al Tamimi & Company has a dedicated arbitration team and advises on international commercial and investment arbitration. For further information, please contact Essam Al Tamimi (, Dr. Hassan Arab (, or Thomas Snider (

Al Tamimi & Company is one of the leading law firms in the Middle East and the largest law firm in the region. Established in 1989 by senior partner, Essam Al Tamimi, the firm has 60 partners, 330 lawyers and 17 offices in nine countries throughout the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman and Egypt.

The firm specialises in advising major international corporations and financial institutions, Middle East banks and financial institutions, government organisations, businesses and families in their global operations and investments. It has particular expertise in arbitration & ADR, banking & finance, dispute resolution & litigation, IP & data security, shipping & aviation, project & infrastructure finance, real estate & construction, corporate & commercial, technology, media & telecommunications, insurance and private client.