Testing the Scope of Article V(1)d of the New York Convention on Enforcement of Arbitration Awards Following the Dubai Arbitration Venue Combination

Myrna Barakat

October 28, 2021

On Sept. 14, 2021, the Dubai government issued a decree that essentially combines the three main arbitration centers that had previously been operating in Dubai, namely the Dubai International Arbitration Center (DIAC), the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Center (EMAC) and the DIFC Arbitration Institution (DAI), which operated a joint venture with the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA). Per the decree, DIAC remains as the surviving entity while the two other entities are dissolved. While the decree offers some guidance on post combination arbitration process, this restructuring will likely be scrutinized by courts in the enforcement of awards issued by the DIAC going forward. Of particular interest will be court interpretations of Article V(1)d of the New York Convention in cases where parties seek enforcement of arbitration awards issued by the surviving DIAC when their arbitration agreements were entered into prior to the consolidation and provided for arbitration in either EMAC or DAI/DIFC-LCIA. More specifically, courts will most certainly be asked to determine whether Article V(1)d of the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, known as the New York Convention, would impede enforcement of any such awards.