arbitrateAD: Abu Dhabi Heralds a New Era in International Arbitration

December 22, 2023by Reshma Rose Jacob0

The Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry has unveiled the Abu Dhabi International Arbitration Centre (arbitrateAD), a new international arbitration centre situated in Abu Dhabi. Starting February 1, 2024, the new governance framework and arbitration regulations will supersede those of the Abu Dhabi Commercial Conciliation and Arbitration Centre (ADCCAC). This significant development marks a transition in the landscape of dispute resolution in the region, reinforcing Abu Dhabi’s commitment to fostering a robust and globally recognized arbitration environment.

Starting February 1, 2024, arbitrateAD’s framework and regulations will supersede those of the Abu Dhabi Commercial Conciliation and Arbitration Centre (ADCCAC). Ongoing cases will proceed under the existing ADCCAC framework. New disputes will be administered under the new Abu Dhabi International Arbitration Centre arbitration rules.

The aim is to position arbitrateAD as the preferred arbitration center in the region and empower businesses to reach their full potential.

arbitrateAD will Supersede ADCCAC

In its pursuit of positioning Abu Dhabi as a prominent hub for both regional and global dispute resolution, the Abu Dhabi International Arbitration Centre is poised to play a pivotal role. The center is dedicated to championing key principles such as impartiality, independence, transparency, and efficiency, underscoring Abu Dhabi’s commitment to fostering a legal environment conducive to swift and effective conflict resolution.

Notably, ongoing cases governed by the prevailing rules of ADCCAC will seamlessly proceed under the stewardship of the existing team within the ADCCAC framework. At the same time, new disputes will be administered under the new Abu Dhabi International Arbitration Centre rules. This seamless transition ensures continuity and stability in the administration of pending cases, reaffirming the commitment to upholding the highest standards in arbitration practices.

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Who’s Who at the Centre

His Excellency Abdulla Mohamed Al Mazrui, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry will Chair the Board of arbitrateAD.

Gary Born, who leads the international arbitration practice group at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, will assume the role of Vice Chairman.

Kristin Campbell-Wilson, formerly the Secretary General of the SCC Arbitration Institute, has been designated as the Executive Director.

Maria Chedid, the global co-chair of Arnold and Porter’s international arbitration practice group, is the inaugural President of the Court of Arbitration.

arbitrateAD-Chairman-Abdullah-Mohammed-Al-Mazrouei
His Excellency Abdulla Mohamed Al Mazrui, Chairman, Board of arbitrateAD
arbitrateAD-Vice-Chairman-Gary-Born
Gary-Born, Vice Chairman, Board of arbitrateAD

Chairing the Board of arbitrateAD will be His Excellency Abdulla Mohamed Al Mazrui, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Gary Born, who leads the international arbitration practice group at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, will assume the role of Vice Chairman.

The Board of Directors will oversee the execution of overall policy and strategic plans essential for realizing its objectives.

Abdulla Mohamed Al Mazrui, the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Chamber, emphasized the essential role of a world-class arbitration hub in today’s interconnected economies. Expressing pride in the culmination of extensive efforts, he highlighted arbitrateAD as an entity that not only adheres to the highest standards of excellence but also prioritizes integrity, ensuring impartial resolutions for all disputes.

Abu-Dhabi-Chamber-CEO-Ahmed-Khalifa-Al-Qubaisi
His Excellency Ahmed Khalifa Al Qubaisi, Chief Executive Officer of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry

His Excellency Ahmed Khalifa Al Qubaisi, Chief Executive Officer of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry expressed great enthusiasm for the forthcoming official launch of the Centre early next year. This launch underscores the organization’s unwavering commitment to fostering global collaboration and ensuring equitable resolutions for businesses in Abu Dhabi and beyond borders. Emphasizing the belief that enhancing a modern, fair, and balanced dispute resolution environment contributes to a seamless business arena in Abu Dhabi, Al Qubaisi highlighted that the establishment of this new arbitration center aligns with the chamber’s mission and the economic vision of the wise leadership of Abu Dhabi. The goal is to empower businesses in the capital and enable the private sector to reach its full potential.

arbitrateAD-President-Maria-Chedid
Maria Chedid, President of the Court of Arbitration, arbitrateAD

Maria Chedid, who serves as the global co-chair of Arnold and Porter’s international arbitration practice group, has assumed the position of President of the Court of Arbitration, as announced by the Chamber. It was clarified that the court’s jurisdiction over cases handled by arbitrateAD will operate independently of the board.

arbitrateAD-Executive-Director-Kristin-Campbell-Wilson
Kristin Campbell-Wilson, Executive Director, arbitrateAD

In addition, Kristin Campbell-Wilson, formerly the Secretary General of the SCC Arbitration Institute, has been designated as the Executive Director of arbitrateAD overseeing the operations.

Maria Chedid, expressed her honour at being chosen as the inaugural President of the Court of Arbitration. She acknowledged the launch of the centre as a significant milestone for Abu Dhabi and the broader region, underscoring the commitment to excellence, fairness, and efficiency in dispute resolution. Chedid expressed confidence in the centre’s ability to offer reliable dispute resolution services, addressing the diverse needs and expectations of businesses in both international and regional contexts. She looks forward to fostering a trusted environment for conflict resolution characterized by integrity and expertise.

Kristin Campbell-Wilson, Executive Director, expressed delight in inaugurating the center with a dedicated commitment to providing efficient and prompt dispute resolution services. Leveraging their collective experience, a global network of industry experts, and a deep understanding of streamlined processes, the aim is to position arbitrateAD as the preferred arbitration center in the region. Campbell-Wilson conveyed enthusiasm about collaborating with some of the world’s top dispute resolution lawyers who have joined forces to ensure the success of this project.

As the Abu Dhabi International Arbitration Centre prepares for its official launch early next year, it stands as a testament to Abu Dhabi’s commitment to fostering a trusted environment for resolving conflicts with integrity and expertise. The convergence of seasoned leaders and experts position the centre as a beacon of excellence in the field of international arbitration, ready to meet the diverse needs of businesses in the region and beyond.

About ATB Legal

ATB Legal is a full-service legal consultancy in the UAE providing services in dispute resolution (DIFC Courts, ADGM Courts, mainland litigation management and Arbitrations), corporate and commercial matters, IP, business set up and UAE taxation. We also have a personal law department providing advice on marriage, divorce and wills & estate planning for expats. Please feel free to reach out to us at office@atblegal.com for a non-obligatory initial consultation.

by Reshma Rose Jacob

Reshma is a legal consultant at ATB Legal. She is a law graduate from St. Joseph’s College of Law, Bangalore, and is enrolled with the Bar Council of Kerala.

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