Resolving Construction Disputes in the UAE: Navigating the Complex World of Construction Arbitration

Insights from Al Safar & Partners, Your Trusted Experts in Construction Arbitration
September 18, 2023 by

Construction Disputes in the UAE

Construction projects are a vital component of the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) thriving economy. However, these complex ventures often encounter disputes and conflicts, which can significantly impact project timelines and budgets. To mitigate such challenges, construction arbitration has become a prominent method for resolving disputes within the UAE's construction industry. In this blog post, Al Safar & Partners, your trusted experts in construction arbitration, will guide you through the specific nuances and trends in arbitration related to construction disputes in the UAE.

The Growing Importance of Construction Arbitration in the UAE

Construction projects in the UAE are known for their ambitious scale and international collaboration. As a result, construction disputes, whether arising from design issues, payment disputes, delays, or contractual disagreements, are not uncommon. Construction arbitration has gained prominence due to its effectiveness in resolving these complex disputes efficiently and impartially.

The Legal Framework for Construction Arbitration

The UAE has a well-established legal framework for arbitration, governed primarily by Federal Law No. 6 of 2018, known as the UAE Arbitration Law. This law adheres to international arbitration standards and ensures a robust foundation for arbitration proceedings.

The Role of Local and International Arbitration Institutions

In the UAE, parties involved in construction disputes can choose from several arbitration institutions, including the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC), Abu Dhabi Commercial Conciliation and Arbitration Centre (ADCCAC), and the DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre. These institutions offer specialized rules and procedures for construction disputes, ensuring that the arbitration process is tailored to the industry's unique demands.

Trends in Construction Arbitration

1. Mediation and Amicable Settlements

Recent trends in construction arbitration in the UAE reflect a growing emphasis on mediation and amicable settlements. Parties involved in construction disputes are increasingly encouraged to explore mediation as an initial step before proceeding to arbitration or litigation. This approach aims to save time and costs while preserving business relationships.

2. Expert Determination

Expert determination, where a neutral expert assesses and determines technical issues, has become more prevalent in construction arbitration. This allows for the swift resolution of disputes related to construction specifications, design flaws, and technical complexities.

3. Technology and Efficiency

Advancements in technology have revolutionized construction arbitration in the UAE. The use of virtual hearings, electronic evidence presentation, and AI-driven case management tools has significantly enhanced the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of arbitration proceedings.

Challenges in Construction Arbitration

Despite the advantages of construction arbitration in the UAE, challenges still exist. One significant challenge is ensuring that arbitration awards are enforceable both within and outside the UAE. Parties must carefully consider the choice of law and jurisdiction to maximize the enforceability of awards.


Construction arbitration in the UAE is an indispensable tool for resolving disputes in the dynamic construction industry. With a robust legal framework, specialized arbitration institutions, and evolving trends focused on efficiency and amicable resolutions, arbitration continues to be the preferred method for settling construction disputes. At Al Safar & Partners, we are committed to helping our clients navigate the intricate world of construction arbitration in the UAE, ensuring that their projects proceed smoothly and disputes are resolved promptly and fairly. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in construction arbitration matters.