Resolving Disputes Out of Courts : The DIAC Proceedings

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:41:00


Resolving Disputes Out of Courts : The DIAC Proceedings

Arbitration is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) where disputes can be resolved out of courts. Here the dispute is decided by the arbitrators and the decision becomes legally binding on both parties unless agreed otherwise. This process of arbitration is widely used in commercial proceedings and transactions due to its swift nature in comparison to the general judicial proceedings. Some of the prominent arbitration centers in the UAE are The Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC), DIFC London Court of International Arbitration (DIFC-LCIA) and Abu Dhabi Conciliation and Arbitration Centre (ADCCAC).

 The Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC)

The DIAC is a large-scale arbitration canter that offers facilities on an international level in the region. It is independent from both the Government of Dubai and the Dubai Chamber and is located in the heart of Dubai.

 Arbitration proceedings in DIAC

 Then DIAC administers arbitration under the DIAC Arbitration Rules 2007 (DIAC Rules) replacing the Rules of Commercial Conciliation and Arbitration of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry No. (2) of 1994.

 The arbitration proceedings prescribed by the DIAC can be described in three main stages:


The Arbitration Law provides that proceedings are commenced on the day following the day the tribunal is constituted, unless otherwise agreed between the parties. Arbitration is commenced by filing of a request for arbitration. DIAC Arbitration Rules govern the commencement procedures for arbitration. Important administrative guidelines are as follows:

 The Request

  • A demand that the dispute be referred to arbitration under the DIAC rules that includes the details of the applicant, a copy of the arbitration agreement, nature and circumstances of the claim and relevant details in accordance with articles 8-12 of the rules.           
  • The Answer/Counterclaims
  • A document that is submitted within 30 days of receipt of the request from the center
  • It should include the following:
  • details of the respondent
  • preliminary comments and responses
  • any objections or comments

 The Tribunal

The important aspects with respect to the tribunal are as follows:

  • The number of arbitrators is decided based in the agreement of the parties.
  • Arbitrators are to remain impartial and independent during proceedings.
  • When parties are of different nationalities, a sole arbitrator is not permitted to have the same nationality as any party unless agreed otherwise.
  • In a dispute with multiple parties, the parties must nominate an arbitrator for appointment by the Centre pursuant to Article 9.
  • Any party is allowed to apply to the center for the expedited formation of the tribunal and may be even apply for a different arbitrator


The important aspects with respect to the proceedings are as follows:

  • The Centre must send a copy of the file to the tribunal as soon as it has been constituted.
  • Parties may agree to shorten the time constraints set out in the arbitration agreement.
  • The place of arbitration may be agreed upon by the parties and unless a specific one is agreed upon, it shall be Dubai.
  • The initial language of the arbitration may be the one of the arbitration agreements unless agreed otherwise by the parties.
  • The venue and date of the preliminary meeting must be informed to the tribunal within thirty days from the date of transmission of the file to the tribunal.
  • The statements of claim and defense must be submitted within 30 days of receipt of the notification.
  • Amendments and supplements to claims may be done during the course of arbitration.
  • Both parties have the burden of proving the facts that they rely on.

The DIAC is the largest arbitration center in the Middle East. It offers facilities on an international scale. The proceedings of the DIAC in terms of arbitration have been formulated on an international standard. Arbitration is becoming increasingly popular in the UAE and the DIAC is continually offering world class proceedings for the same. Some Law Firms in Dubai exclusively specialise in dispute resolutions or arbitration process at the AIAC.  

By Sudiksha Moorthi