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The Progressive Approach of Arbitration in ADGM  


Arbitration Regulations of 2015 are governed for arbitration in the ADGM  (Abu Dhabi Global Market), formed under Federal Law as the commercial and financial free zone in the Capital City of the United Arab Emirates. The Arbitration Regulations preside over in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Jurisdiction. It has also the Jurisdiction to work for the implementation of all arbitral awards.  

Abu Dhabi Global Market:- 

The financial and Commercial free zone known as Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM ) commenced operation in 2014 as an independent Free zone center for International, domestic and regional companies with autonomous bodies (1)the  ADGM  Courts (2) the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (3) Registration Authority. 

Application of English Common Law:- 

Abu Dhabi Global Market is the first example in the whole Middle East Jurisdiction that has adopted an extensive range of English statutes on civil matters from English Common Law. 

 The ADGM Board of Directors:- 

The ADGM Board of Directors (ADGM Board) is authorized to endorse Legislation, Rules, and laws for ADGM jurisdiction. 

 The ADGM Arbitration Regulations:- 

HHS Lawyers are concerned about Arbitration rules and Regulations being active in Arbitration Practice closely observing the process of Arbitration in the UAE. While commencing the Arbitration Rules and Regulations, the Board of ADGM decided to promulgate a wide-ranging set of laws to preside over the arbitration and to enforcement of Arbitral Awards within ADGM Jurisdiction to achieve their objective through the top-notch judicial system and regulatory regime. 

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 International Commercial Arbitration:- 

United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) enacted on 21 June 1985 that is a Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (1985), with improvement as adopted in 2006. The Model Law is premeditated to support States in transformation and modernizing their laws on the arbitral procedure to take into account the particular features and needs of international commercial arbitration. 

 The ADGM Model Law:- 

It would be worth mentioning that in ordinary/general approach of ADGM courts is based on English Law while the Arbitration Regulations promulgated by ADGM  follow the UNCITRAL Model Law for modernization and universally practice in international arbitration encouraging the international concept of arbitration as an example for financial, business and commercial disputes for the satisfaction of the investors. 

 No Court Intervention:- 

Court intervention is discouraged in the arbitral proceedings in the ADGM Regulations. The tribunals have the power to take cognizance and dispose of the issues under their jurisdiction. The arbitral award is unchallengeable. There is very limited scope to review the Arbitral award by reappraising the merits of the disputed issue.  The tribunal has been made impartial and independent and impartial according to the Regulations. It is also ensured in the regulations that the issue between the parties in tribunals must be dealt with due process of law and equal treatment of the parties may be ensured. 

Improvement through Amendments:- 

While bringing into force the amendments and modifications to make the rules and regulations modern and progressive according to internationally accepted arbitration practice. The following are Important changes and improvements as discussed below:- 

 Improved Privacy:- 

All the arbitral proceedings conducted in ADGM are kept confidential and may not be disclosed to a third party except in accordance with the law. 

 No Open Court Proceedings:- 

All proceedings concerning arbitration are held in a closed Court. 

 Third Parties:- 

The third-party can be part of proceedings during ADGM court while administering the Arbitral award or any Arbitration process. The Regulations provide the process of how 3rd parties can be impleaded by adopting the following ways accredited to the available rules:- 

  1. A request to implead a party during the arbitral proceedings 
  1. The written consent of the party to be impleaded  
  1. It is a necessary part of the interests of justice and not prejudiced to the interest of any of the parties. 

 Compromise between the Party or Waiver Of Right:- 

If parties make a compromise or any party waives its rights, the award will be set aside even if it is in the final stage to enforce the award by the ADGM. The Regulations provide that the parties may enter into a compromise and waive their right even at the final stage of arbitration proceedings or after the announcement of the award. 

Comprehensive Remedies:- 

The ADGM  Arbitration is comprehensive and supportive provisions on various concerns connecting to the hold the arbitration proceedings includes an extensive range of accessible remedies to aid the parties specifically and the course of action generally. 


The ADGM arbitration rules in pursuant to UAE federal arbitration law are a great initiative being transparent, modern, and progressive. It is a step ahead to walk through along with the world-class best practice in the arbitration rules, regulations, and proceedings accordingly in the whole region (Middle East) exercising by the ADGM Jurisdiction to make its stakeholders more satisfied. 

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Hassan Humaid Al Suwaidi., LL.B. is a Senior Partner in HHS Lawyers. He has 20 years of experience dealing with high-value and complex cases. Frequently featured in local and international legal directories and commended for his ability to attain favorable outcomes for clients, Hassan has been involved in some of the largest legal settlements. A major part of his work is providing expert legal advice on UAE legislation and acting for individuals and businesses during disputes and litigation.