The Dubai International Financial Centre

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1 Introduction The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the crucial role the Dubai International Financial Centre has embraced as “host jurisdiction” in relation to the recognition and the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in the United Arab Emirates. Part 1 provides a general overview on the UAE legal setting and a brief analysis of how arbitration fits in such a framework. The following section deals with the complexities and the issues that parties have been encountering when seeking enforcement of foreign awards before UAE courts – but the same considerations apply to several other Middle Eastern countries – and that therefore have contributed to creating a general suspicion towards arbitration as a means for dispute resolution…show more content…
1.2 How does arbitration fit in? Arbitration is not inconsistent with Shari’a law: in fact, it has been practiced in the Middle East, in pre-Islamic times – even in a form closer to mediation or conciliation – and is specifically endorsed by the Quran. Despite its ancient roots, however, foreign counterparties have often shown profound reluctance and suspicion towards Middle-Eastern arbitration system, due to the lack of a common or federal legislative framework to support arbitration; moreover, the vital role –even if to different degrees- Islamic faith plays in the interpretation of the law in many jurisdictions within the Middle East represents a “religious variable” that has both substantive and procedural ramifications. Nevertheless, over the last years convincing strides towards cementing their reputation as robust jurisdictions in which parties can effectively resolve their commercial disagreements have been made. Such recent interest in arbitration as an alternative means of dispute resolution is clearly intertwined with the ever-increasing geopolitical, commercial and financial significance the region has gained. Just think about the fact that UAE successfully proposed itself as host of Expo 2020, which is going to take place in
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