Challenging arbitral jurisdiction and anti-suit injunctions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Produced in partnership with Neal Brendel and James Lightley-Hunt of K&L Gates
Challenging arbitral jurisdiction and anti-suit injunctions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

The following Arbitration guidance note Produced in partnership with Neal Brendel and James Lightley-Hunt of K&L Gates provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Challenging arbitral jurisdiction and anti-suit injunctions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Challenging tribunal jurisdiction in the UAE courts
  • Challenging jurisdiction in the DIFC courts

Arbitration is a popular dispute resolution mechanism in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and this is reflected in the UAE courts’ deference towards arbitration agreements. As discussed further below, both the UAE courts and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) courts permit parties to raise jurisdictional objections and will dismiss or stay proceedings where the requirements for these objections are satisfied.

Other means of challenging jurisdiction are limited in the UAE courts, since the courts neither grant anti-suit injunctions nor automatically enforce anti-suit injunctions issued by foreign courts.

On 3 May 2018, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, signed Federal Law No. 6 of 2018 on Arbitration (UAE Federal Arbitration Law). The UAE Federal Arbitration Law, which came into effect on 16 June 2018, repeals the provisions of Articles 203–218 of the UAE Civil Procedures Law (Federal Law No 11 of 1992) which had previously governed arbitrations seated in the UAE and applies to all pending UAE-seated arbitrations (excluding arbitrations seated in the DIFC and the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), which are exempt free zones) and international commercial arbitrations where the parties have agreed that the UAE Federal Arbitration Law will apply, including those arising out of arbitration agreements entered into before the entry into force of the UAE Federal Arbitration Law. In respect of jurisdictional matters, Article