Challenging arbitral jurisdiction and anti-suit injunctions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Produced in partnership with Sholto Hanvey, Nazanin Aleyaseen and Jennifer Paterson of K&L Gates

The following Arbitration practice note produced in partnership with Sholto Hanvey, Nazanin Aleyaseen and Jennifer Paterson 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 arbitral jurisdiction in the onshore UAE courts
  • Anti-suit injunctions
  • Anti-arbitration injunctions
  • Challenging jurisdiction at the point of enforcement of an award
  • Other grounds on which an award may be nullified
  • Challenging jurisdiction in the DIFC courts
  • Stay/dismissal of proceedings in favour of arbitration
  • Challenging the tribunal’s jurisdiction
  • Anti-suit injunctions
  • More...

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

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 onshore 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 onshore courts, since, unlike the DIFC courts, the onshore 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

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