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Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre and DIFC Arbitration Institute merge into Dubai International Arbitration Centre

In an announcement made on Saturday 18 September 2021 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre and the Dubai International Financial Centre Arbitration Institute are to be dissolved and their operations and assets merged into the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (‘DIAC’).

Decree No. (34) of 2021 replaces Decree No. (10) of 2004, relating to the establishment of the DIAC.

The salient points of Decree No (34) of 2021 are as follows:
  • The DIAC must comply with the new Decree within six months of its effective date;
  • The new objectives, functions and organisational structure of the DIAC will consist of three levels:
    • The Board of Directors – to be established by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
    • An Arbitration Court – consisting of 13 members, including a President and Vice President. The new members will be appointed by the DIAC Board of Directors, to serve for a maximum term of four year
    • The Administrative Unit of the Centre;
  • All matters belonging to the two dissolved Arbitration Centers will be transferred to DIAC, including, the membership base, staff, funds, assets and financial allocations; and
  • There will be no disruption to any ongoing arbitration matters. The Dubai and DIFC Courts will continue to have curial jurisdiction related to arbitration proceedings under the auspices of the two dissolved centres.
Dr Ahmad Saeed Bin Hezeem Al Suwaidi, Chairman of the DIAC Executive Committee, Vice Chairman of the DIAC Board of Trustees, and Senior Partner at BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates spoke positively regarding the announcement:

“Merging the EMAC and the DIFC Arbitration Institute with DIAC is a positive and progressive step forward in cementing Dubai’s position as a global hub for Alternative Dispute Resolution, for both local and international arbitrations. Utilizing the history of DIAC, alongside the procedures and diverse nature of all three centres, will see processes streamlined, provide centralized workstreams and will certainly see more organizations and individuals choosing Dubai as their seat of arbitration. I am particularly pleased with the decision to include EMAC – given how important maritime is to this regions’ history and future.”

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