The process to be followed by the Successful party of the Arbitration Judgement for recognition and enforcement of an Arbitral Award in the UAE will depend on whether the arbitral award is “domestic” or “foreign”.
Domestic arbitral awards are those which are rendered by an arbitration institution in the UAE such as the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (“DIAC”) and Abu Dhabi Commercial Conciliation and Arbitration Centre (“ADCCAC”). Whereas foreign arbitral awards are those which are rendered by an arbitration institution outside of the UAE.
In UAE, enforcement of Arbitration awards in the United Arab Emirates is typically governed by Article 55 of UAE Federal law no 6 of 2018 on Arbitration (UAE Arbitration Law). Here are the key steps for enforcing an arbitration award in the UAE:
- Documents to be submitted for Enforcement Application:
- The Successful party to obtain a duly certified copy of the arbitration award by the Tribunal passing the Judgement on their concerned Arbitration Matter.
- A copy of the Arbitration Agreement.
iii. A translation into Arabic of the arbitral award duly certified by a duly recognized entity, if the award is made in another language.
- A copy of the minutes of deposit of the award in the Court
- Review the Award: Ensure the award is final and issued by a recognised arbitration institution or under the UAE Arbitration law.
- The award shall be monetary award or require specific performance of a contractual obligation.
- The Award must be passed by the tribunal which is recognised under UAW Law, such as one registered with the UAE Ministry of Economy.
iii. The Award should not contravene UAE Public Policy.
- File a Request for enforcement: submit a request to the competent court in the UAE. The Court’s jurisdiction depends on the location of the assets or where enforcement is sought.
- With a certified copy of the award in hand, the request must be filed with the competent Court having jurisdiction.
- The Jurisdiction of the Courts depends on factors such as the location of the assets we intend to seize or the emirate we intend to execute or enforce the award.
- Court Examination: The Court will review the award and the relevant documents. It may also give the opposing party a chance to object.
- Once the request has been submitted for enforcement, the Court will then review the Arbitration award with all the relevant documents, this may include Arbitration Agreement, the Parties submissions and any evidence presented during the Arbitration proceedings.
- The Court will also consider whether the award is in accordance with the requirement of UAE Law and International conventions to which UAE is a Party.
iii. The Court will also notify the opposing party about the enforcement application, where the opposing party does reserve the right objections within specified timeframe.
- Under Article 53 of the same Law, Common Objections might relate to procedural irregularities during the Arbitration process or violations of Public Policy.
- Enforcement award: if the Court finds the award enforceable, it will issue an enforcement order.
- After perusing the submitted award along with evidentiary documents, and any objections, the Court will issue a decision if the court find the award enforceable, to proceed ahead with enforcement procedures.
- Upon obtaining the Enforcement Order, The Court can further order Asset Seizure, Bank Account Block.
ENFORCEMENT OF OFFSHORE DUBAI
With respect to the recognition and enforcement of financial freezone seated arbitral awards in DIFC:
The Successful Party must make an application to the DIFC Courts pursuant to Article 42(1) of the DIFC Arbitration Law. A party can make such an application for enforcement either with or without notice to the other party. Provided the DIFC Court decides to recognise the award, it will issue an order in both English and Arabic. The award creditor must then serve the DIFC Court order on the award debtor.
With respect to the recognition and enforcement of financial freezone seated arbitral awards in ADGM:
The ADGM follows a similar procedure to the DIFC, which is set out in Part 4 of the ADGM Arbitration Regulations 2015 and provides that upon the application of a party for the recognition or enforcement of an arbitral award, the court decides that if an award shall be recognised or enforced, it shall issue an order to that effect.