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The Guide to Enforcing Arbitration Decisions Under UAE Law

You fought hard to win your arbitration case, but now comes the real challenge: enforcement. After months of arguments and evidence, the arbitrator issued an award in your favour. Yet the losing party refuses to comply. All that time and money seems wasted if you can’t actually collect the award. Don’t lose hope; with the right strategy, you can enforce an arbitration award in the UAE. The UAE legal system provides mechanisms to enforce both domestic and foreign arbitration awards. But you must follow the proper procedures and submit the correct documentation to the courts. Knowledge of the UAE Arbitration Law and Civil Procedure Code will serve you well. With determination and perseverance, you can achieve the satisfaction of prevailing in arbitration and seeing justice served. The path may not always be smooth, but stay the course; your rights are worth fighting for, and the law is on your side.

Understanding Arbitration Decisions in the UAE

To enforce an arbitration award in the UAE, you first need to understand the basics of how arbitration decisions are handled. In the UAE, arbitration is governed by Federal Law No. 6 of 2018 on Arbitration (“Arbitration Law”). Under the Arbitration Law, arbitral awards are considered binding and enforceable.

Once an arbitral award has been issued, the losing party is obligated to comply with the decision. However, if they fail to do so voluntarily, the winning party can take steps to enforce the award through the UAE courts.

To enforce an arbitral award in the UAE courts, you must submit an execution application to the court that has jurisdiction. This is usually the court located in the place where the arbitration took place or where the assets in dispute are located.

The execution application should include:

A certified copy of the arbitral award.

Official Arabic translation of the award.

Evidence that the award is final, binding, and enforceable. This usually means proving that the time limit for appealing the decision has expired.

If the court considers the application admissible, it orders the enforcement of the judgment. The judgment can then be enforced against the losing party, in particular by attachment of property to settle the amount owed as a result of the judgement.

With a little patience and following the right procedures, arbitral awards can be effectively enforced through the UAE’s judicial system. While the process may seem complicated, it’s worth securing your rights under the arbitration award.

The Process for Enforcing Arbitral Awards in Dubai

To enforce an arbitral award in Dubai, you’ll need to follow the proper procedure.

First, you must have a certified copy of the final award in hand. This should be provided by the arbitral tribunal that issued the award.

Next, you’ll file a claim with the Dubai Court of First Instance to ratify the award. This is done through a straightforward application that includes:

  1. Details of the parties involved
  2. A copy of the arbitration agreement
  3. Certified copies of the final award

The court will usually ratify the award within a month, unless a party files an appeal. If ratified, the award will have the same effect as a judicial ruling.

However, the other party can still appeal the ratification to the Dubai Court of Appeal within 30 days. The Court of Appeal will only overturn the ratification in limited cases, such as if:

  • Proper notice of the arbitration proceedings was not provided
  • The award violated UAE public policy
  • The arbitrators exceeded their authority

If the appeal is rejected, the arbitral award becomes final and enforceable. At this point, you may take further action to enforce the award through methods like:

  • Placing liens on the other party’s assets
  • Seizing assets through court orders
  • Imposing travel bans on the losing party

Through diligence and persistence, you can successfully enforce your hard-won arbitral award in Dubai. The key is following each step of the process properly and being prepared for potential appeals. With the award ratified and enforced, the other party will have to comply with the arbitrators’ decision.

Working with Top Lawyers in Dubai to Enforce Your Arbitration Award

Enforcing your arbitration award in Dubai requires the expertise of specialized lawyers. The UAE’s legal system follows civil law, rather than common law, so the process can seem unfamiliar. Working with an experienced law firm in Dubai will ensure your award is enforced efficiently and effectively.

Find a reputable law firm

Seek out law firms in Dubai with a proven track record of enforcing arbitration awards. They should have knowledge of the UAE Arbitration Law and civil procedure rules. Ask about their experience with similar cases to get a sense of potential issues. Meet with lawyers from a few firms to determine who you feel most confident with.

Provide all relevant documentation

Supply your lawyers with copies of the arbitration agreement, arbitration award, and any other pertinent details about your case. The more information they have, the better prepared they will be to represent your interests. Be available to answer follow up questions as needed.

File an enforcement order

Your lawyers will file an enforcement order in the Dubai Courts, requesting that the arbitration award be recognized and enforced. This involves submitting Arabic translations of key documents and navigating proper filing procedures. The court will review the request and either enforce the award or send it back for clarification if there are any issues, so the accuracy and completeness of the initial filing is critical.

Attend court hearings

As the award creditor, you may be asked to attend court hearings regarding enforcement. Have your lawyers prepare you for the types of questions the judges may ask and how to respond appropriately. Your presence shows the importance you place on enforcement and allows you to provide testimony directly if needed.

Following the guidance of experienced Dubai legal counsel is the best way to have your arbitration award enforced under UAE law. With their expertise and your cooperation, you stand the best chance of success in this complex process.


You’ve gone through the entire arbitration process and finally received a favourable award. But your work isn’t done yet. Now it’s time to enforce the award to actually obtain the relief you were granted. The UAE Law system provides several avenues for enforcing arbitration awards, whether domestic or foreign. The key is to act quickly before the other party has a chance to hide or move assets.

File your award with the competent court right away. Request an order for enforcement and start the short time periods running. Serve the order on the other party and if no objection is filed, you’ll receive an enforcement order in short order. Even if an objection is raised, stay the course. Present clear and convincing evidence to defeat their objections. Don’t let procedural missteps or minor errors derail your hard-fought win. Perseverance and persistence pay off. Keep your eyes on the ultimate goal – enforcing your award. While the process isn’t always smooth, the UAE legal framework provides you the means to enforce arbitral justice. Don’t stop moving forward. Demand what is owed to you and claim the relief you deserve. After all, an award is just a hollow victory without successful enforcement. You’ve fought hard for your win, now is the time to collect. The fruits of your labour await, go seize them!