Demystifying Abu Dhabi’s Arbitration Landscape: Insights into ArbitrateAD

Demystifying Abu Dhabi’s Arbitration Landscape: Insights into ArbitrateAD

In December 2023, the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry unveiled the inauguration of the Abu Dhabi International Arbitration Centre (ArbitrateAD), officially commencing operations on February 1st, 2024. This milestone followed the announcement of the closure of the Abu Dhabi Commercial Conciliation and Arbitration Center (ADCCAC).

Remarkably, this marks the UAE’s second endeavor in restructuring an arbitration center, echoing the 2021 decision to replace the DIFC-LCIA and the EMAC arbitration centers with DIAC. ArbitrateAD’s newly introduced rules are poised to supersede the existing regulations of the ADCCAC, which have been readily accessible on the Center’s official website. In contrast to its predecessor’s framework, these rules modernize and streamline various mechanisms within arbitral proceedings, fortifying the region’s dispute resolution framework.

As a pivotal hub for international businesses, particularly in Abu Dhabi, this strategic move was imperative to offer stakeholders enhanced options when selecting arbitral rules and institutions best suited to their needs for inclusion in their contract clauses. The newly implemented rules illustrate how ArbitrateAD seamlessly integrates into the region’s existing arbitration landscape while effectively addressing pending cases previously earmarked for ADCCAC. Notably, provisions pertaining to early case dismissal, expedited or emergency proceedings, as well as joinder and consolidation options, have been incorporated—a notable enhancement absent in prior regulations. Moreover, ArbitrateAD designates the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) as the default seat of arbitral proceedings in instances where no seat is specified in the arbitration clause or agreement. This decision aligns with the ADGM’s pro-arbitration regulations, facilitating the enforcement of ADGM-seated awards beyond UAE borders.

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