New York Convention Roadshow in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Report written by Mohamed Abdel Wahab
On 6 November 2016, Prof. Dr. Mohamed S. Abdel Wahab held two meeting sessions with judges from the DIFC Courts and the Dubai Courts regarding the role of the judiciary in enforcing arbitral awards under the New York Convention.
The day started with a meeting at the DIFC Courts with H.E. Chief Justice Michael Hwang and two Emirati judges (H.E. Justice Omar Al Muhairi and H.E. Justice Shamlan Al Sawalehi). Subsequently, a second meeting was held at the Dubai Courts premises with the participation of H.E. Justice Omar Al Muhairi and H.E. Justice Shamlan Al Sawalehi from the DIFC Courts and senior justices from the Dubai Courts, including H.E. Taresh Eid Al Mansouri (Director of the Dubai Courts), H.E. Mohammed Al Sabousi (Chief Judge, Commercial Court) and other senior judges from the Dubai Courts.
H.E. Chief Justice Hwang made some introductory remarks on ICCA and its initiatives before he left the Dubai Court meeting that was wholly conducted in Arabic. In total, 6 senior judges participated and a productive discussion followed with Prof. Dr. Abdel Wahab regarding the role of the judiciary in arbitration, the interaction between the DIFC Courts and the Dubai Courts, the ICCA's Guide on the New York Convention (its purpose, content, aim, etc.) and some of the issues regarding enforcement of arbitral awards in the UAE and recognition and enforcement under the NYC. There was much interest and the dialogue brought about some interesting ideas, amongst which were: the need for ICCA to consider an initiative for training of GCC judges (from all over the gulf), and the judges suggested a cooperation between ICCA and the UN or the WBG to fund this initiative. Dubai Courts judges also showed interest in the ICCA Guide and advised that they are starting the publication of all judgments rendered by the Dubai Courts. At the heart of the discussion was the long-awaited UAE Arbitration law, the indispensable role of the judiciary in supporting arbitration and in inducing confidence in the friendly role of courts in the prudent and restrained review of awards.
Towards the end of the meeting, it was agreed that another training session with Prof. Dr. Abdel Wahab is needed with wider participation from all Dubai Courts' judges. Thereafter, Prof. Dr. Abdel Wahab returned to the DIFC Courts for a quick tour of the DIFC Courts before concluding the day.