The London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) yesterday (17 February) signed an agreement to launch a dedicated arbitration centre in the Middle East region.
The Dubai initiative is a further bid by the United Arab Emirates city state to cement its reputation as the region’s business hub.
One DIFC official said many contracts in the Gulf now include international arbitration clauses, prompting calls for a globally recognised centre in Dubai.
“The Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Dubai already has an arbitration centre, but some international firms doing business in the Emirates remain concerned about the ability to secure a fair hearing – hence the need for another forum,” said the official.
International firms have been concerned about fair hearings in the chamber as businesses can only sue the Dubai government if they receive approval from the ruler of Dubai. It is expected that the DIFC and LCIA arbitration centre will solve this issue.
“This is why the LCIA coming on board gives the venture much more gravitas and perhaps the reassurance global firms need,” added the DIFC representative.
LCIA director-general Adrian Winstanley said among those who attended the signing were the court’s president Jan Paulsson and DIFC governor Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman.