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New Resolution Issued Concerning Arbitrators for Marital Disputes in Dubai

The Crown Prince and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has issued Executive Council Resolution No. (16) of 2022 appointing arbitrators for marital disputes and guardianship cases. [1]

Here is everything we cover in our blog about the new resolution:

  • What is the Purpose of the New Resolution?
  • Who Are the Members of the Committee for Registering Arbitrators?
  • Who is Responsible for Appointing the Arbitrator?
  • What Is the Role of the Committee for Registering Arbitrators?
  • What Does the Judge Do in Marital Dispute Cases?
  • What are the Duties of the Arbitrator Under this New Resolution?
  • What Process Needs to be Followed by the Arbitrator for Mediation in a Marital Dispute Case?

What does the Resolution apply to?

In accordance with Federal Law (28) of 2005 on the Personal Status Law and its amendments, the Resolution applies to separations based on detriment (that is fails to perform) and violation (breach) of contract.

As per the new resolution, the President of the Personal Status Court of First Instance at Dubai Courts will now issue a decision informing the formation of a Committee for Registering Arbitrators to be chaired by the President of the Personal Status Court of First Instance. [1]

Who are the Members of the Committee for Registering Arbitrators in Dubai?

Two personal status judges, the head of the Personal Status Department at Dubai Courts, the head of the Family Affairs Section at the Department, and a representative of the Community Development Authority in Dubai will serve on the Committee.

The head of the Department’s section on marriage officials and arbitrators will serve as rapporteur for the Committee. [2]

You should know: The Execution of an Arbitration Agreement by Power of Attorney Requires special Authorization: Abu Dhabi Court of Cassation clarified

Who is responsible for appointing the Arbitrator?

As per Executive Council Resolution No. (16) of 2022, the couple caught in a marital dispute or one of them will select an arbitrator to assist them in solving their dispute. [2]

What is the role of the committee for registering Arbitrators?

In accordance with the Resolution, it is the responsibility of the Committee for Registering Arbitrators to oversee that the Resolution is implemented, run written tests, and one-on-one interviews with individuals seeking listings in Dubai Courts’ registry for and review complaints against arbitrators. [1]

What is the responsibility of the Judge in Marital Dispute Cases?

In accordance with the Resolution, the judge presided over a divorce case will instruct the parties to name the arbitrator of their choice. In the absence of such participation, the judge will appoint an arbitrator from the registry. It is important that the arbitrator chosen by the spouses has a relationship with one of them and understands their situation. [2]

What are the duties of an Arbitrator?

The arbitrator must follow the terms of Federal Law No. 28 of 2005 on Personal Status as well as the recently issued Resolution. The arbitrator should have a clear understanding of his or her function and attempt to bring the spouses back together (reconciliation). [3]

Are you interested in reading: The Progressive Approach of Arbitration in ADGM

What is the procedure for Marital Disputes Mediation or Arbitration?

The Resolution also lays out the steps for resolving the marriage dispute through mediation or settlement in Dubai. The designated arbitrator will schedule the first mediation session and notify the couple seven days prior to the scheduled date. The spouse requesting separation will submit his or her case, including a detailed description of the alleged maltreatment by the other spouse.

The arbitrators are obligated to do their utmost to find a solution to the issue and can enlist the assistance of any other spouse’s kin to help the couple reconcile. [3]

Does this new Regulation replace the previous Regulation?

The new Resolution supersedes Dubai’s Regulation No. (8) of 2006 on personal status arbitrators. It also nullifies any other decision that might be in conflict with it. As long as they do not contradict Resolution No. (16) of 2022, the regulations and decisions issued to implement Regulation No. (8) of 2006 will remain in effect until further notice.

The Executive Council Resolution No. (16) of 2022 takes effect when it is published in the Official Gazette. [3]

You may want to know: Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) Introduces New Arbitration Rules, 2022

Final Thoughts

Marital disputes can be tricky and should be aimed at protecting the rights of the couple and their offspring. There are countless rules and procedures in UAE that one needs to follow on the basis of nationality and religion of the parties.

Our arbitration & reconciliation lawyers at HHS in Dubai, are experienced and skilled to deal with all legal aspects related to marriage. Contact us today!





Hazim Darwish

Hazim Darwish, is a Senior Partner of HHS Lawyers in UAE. Practicing law for almost a decade, he has in-depth knowledge on UAE legislation with particular expertise on legal drafting, contract drafting, labor disputes, family law, and regulatory compliance for business organizations. Hazim Darwish also provides counsel on legal rights and obligations in the UAE to clients, including individuals and businesses subject to investigation or prosecution under Criminal Law by major regulators.