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The Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) launches new 2022 Arbitration Rules

  • UAE
  • Middle East
  • Global
  • International arbitration
  • Litigation and dispute management


On 25 February 2022, DIAC’s new Board of Directors approved the new 2022 DIAC Arbitration Rules.

The new Rules will come into effect on 21 March 2022 and will apply to arbitrations which commence after this date, regardless of the date of the underlying arbitration agreement, unless the parties agree otherwise.

Notable additions to the new Rules include provisions dealing with:

  • Consolidation and Joinder;
  • Third Party Funding;
  • Expedited proceedings;
  • An alternative process for appointing arbitrators, and
  • An ‘Exceptional Proceedings’ Appendix which covers (a) interim measures; (b) emergency arbitrator appointments; (c) conciliation proceedings; and (d) (where so agreed by the parties) DIAC’s appointing authority procedure.

The new Rules now provide that:

  1. Legal fees are expressly recognised as forming part of the costs which may be claimed by parties, as part of the costs of the arbitration.
  2. Unless otherwise agreed to by the parties and/or absent any agreement as to seat, the “initial seat of the arbitration” under the Rules shall be the DIFC. This ‘default’ seat provision will be subject to the Tribunal’s final directions as to the seat, once constituted.
  3. Unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the parties, the provisions relating to Expedited Proceedings will apply to arbitrations where the total sum(s) claimed and counterclaimed (if any) equals to, or is less than, AED1m (exclusive of interest and legal representation costs).

DIAC has also announced the constitution of its ‘Arbitration Court’, in keeping with Decree 34/2021. The Arbitration Court replaced DIAC’s Executive Committee (EC) and has assumed the EC’s duties of general supervision and case management of all ADR services and/or administered by DIAC.

The members of the Arbitration Court were confirmed by the DIAC’s Board of Directors and include Dr. Ahmed Bin Hazeem Al Suwaidi (President), Ahmed Mohamed Al Rasheed, Jehad Abdulrazzaq Kazim, Graham Kenneth Lovett, H.E. Justice Shamlan Al Sawalehi, Mohammad Rashid Al Suwaidi, Dr. Mansoor Al Osaimi, Dr. Yousef Al Suwaidi and Gemma Nemer.

The Rules do not appear to address the DIFC-LCIA take-over, though the abolishment of the DIFC-LCIA and EMAC is addressed, in passing, in DIAC’s press release of 2 March 2022 as follows: “In 2021, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed issued a decree dissolving the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre (EMAC) and the Dubai International Financial Centre Arbitration Institute, and merging their operations and assets into DIAC.”