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UAE continues to boost its mediation offering - signing the Singapore Convention and more

On 29 April 2021, the UAE issued a new mediation law, which created a robust mediation framework and implemented a number of international best practice features. Shortly after, on 14 September 2021, the government of Dubai complemented this by passing a law to upgrade and modernise its Centre for the Amicable Settlement of Disputes.

We wrote about this in the International Journal of Arab Arbitration with co-author Sachin Kerur. In our article, we made many suggestions that would position the UAE to cement its place as a mediation hub.

Singapore Convention on Mediation

In particular, we surmised that the UAE Government should consider adopting the Singapore Convention on Mediation (see quotation below).

It is fortuitous that, coinciding with publication of our article, the UAE Government announced at Resolve 2022 – the inaugural dispute resolution forum at the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) – that the UAE will be the 56th signatory to the Singapore Convention on Mediation.

Ensure quality and diversity of mediators

Another point we raised was that it was incumbent upon the UAE mediation centres to ensure that high calibre mediators were available on their registers to inspire confidence in parties to rely on mediation as a method for dispute resolution (see quotation below).

The ADGM and Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution have collaborated to establish an Investor State Mediators Panel, which comprises of experienced Investor State dispute mediators whose appointment is by invitation-only and based on criteria such as mediation experience and expertise in Investor State disputes.

We look forward to seeing the developments in the UAE as it continues to implement strategic decisions to bolster its position as an international mediation destination.

“Although the UAE is presently not a signatory of the Singapore Convention, the UAE government may well wish to consider its adoption to encourage mediation as a viable form of dispute resolution for cross-border disputes. In this regard, the Singapore Convention is steadily gaining global support, with fifty-five signatories and eight countries having ratified the Convention at the time of writing.” ... “It is incumbent upon the DCASD to introduce additional rules and standards to ensure that any mediators added to the register have the level of skill and expertise necessary to assist the parties in obtaining a satisfactory resolution to their dispute.”


mediation, uae, singapore convention, dispute resolution