Arbitration in ADGM

The Arbitration Regulations enacted by ADGM’s Board of Directors on 17 December 2015, govern the arbitration of disputes within ADGM.  The Regulations establish the legal framework for any arbitration conducted within ADGM and provide for the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards in ADGM Courts. The Regulations have been designed to be modern, reflect best international arbitration practice and encourage the wide use of ADGM as a seat of arbitration in the region.

The Regulations have also been designed to facilitate the arbitral process within ADGM in accordance with the parties’ agreement. In furtherance of this approach, under the Regulations:

  • there is limited scope for court intervention in the arbitral process
  • a tribunal will have the power to consider and decide disputes concerning its own jurisdiction; and
  • the grounds for challenging an arbitral award are limited to narrow circumstances with no review of the merits of the dispute.

The Regulations use as a starting point the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration published by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (the “UNCITRAL Model Law”), as updated in 2006.  The UNCITRAL Model is a widely recognised global standard for arbitration regulation and covers all stages of the arbitral process from the arbitration agreement, the composition and jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal, the extent of court intervention and the basis on which awards might be challenged. 

The Board of ADGM has implemented a series of modifications and enhancements to the UNICITRAL Model Law to bring the Regulations up to date, including in relation to confidentiality, to maximise party autonomy and control over the arbitral process and to accommodate the unique nature of ADGM’s jurisdictional and legal framework.

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