Globalisation has led to rapid developments in today's fast-paced corporate world, among which is an increasingly growing interest in arbitration.

Parties would rather resort to this alternative, contract-based form of dispute resolution method than going to the Courts given its numerous advantages. These include but are not limited to its speed, privacy, economy, efficiency, and flexibility when it comes to choosing the applicable laws, regulations and arbitrators. This explains why, more frequently than before, an arbitration clause is being included in contracts. Alternatively, parties may agree on signing a separate arbitration agreement in the event a dispute related to the implementation of their contract arises.

The final award rendered by the arbitral tribunal has furthermore a final and binding effect in the sense that it represents an enforceable decision to which the parties are obliged to comply.

Within this context, the UAE legislator, wishing to position itself as a regional leader in this field, established key arbitration institutions in its major cities (Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Dubai) in addition to the International Islamic Centre for Reconciliation and Arbitration.

The most significant, however remains the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) established in 2004, which has become the "largest and most preferred Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) entity in the Middle East", with disputes amounting to 5.5 Billion AED in 2020 and covering a wide array of sectors, ranging from Construction, Commerce, Real Estate, Commercial and Civil Transactions, Corporate Governance, to IP, Finance and Banking to Oil and Gas.

The DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre and Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre were both abolished pursuant to Decree No. 34 of 2021 of the Ruler of Dubai and merged into the DIAC in an effort to concentrate institutional arbitration there.

As for Abu Dhabi, its Abu Dhabi Commercial Conciliation and Arbitration Centre (ADCCAC), established in 1993, represented the first centre in the GCC to solve national and international commercial disputes. An initiative by the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, its mission is to build "an independent, effective and just structure for the mechanisms of conciliation and arbitration to serve the local and international business community".

Both the DIAC and ADCCAC have their own rules and regulations that are regularly updated, taking into account international standards and best practices.

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