29 November 2020

Arbitral cases have increased significantly in Middle East, specially the construction sector

The Dubai International Finance Centre Arbitration Institute and the London Court of International Arbitration’s Arbitration Centre (DIFC-LCIA) have announced that they have experienced an increase in arbitration proceedings for the fifth consecutive year, due in particular to construction-related disputes. 

In particular, the arbitration centre has recorded an 18% increase in cases in 2019 to 80 cases, according to its annual report. The value of claims also increased in 2019, doubling to US$1.25 billion from US$600 million in 2018.

Overall, the majority, 36% of the disputes, focused on the construction and infrastructure sector. Property disputes accounted for almost 15%, while retail and food and beverage accounted for 9%. Cases related to the energy sector represented about 5% of the total.

Although DIFC-LCIA users in the UAE accounted for 58% of cases, this arbitration institution has reported an increase in the use of arbitration in Europe, Africa and the United States. 

"We are expected to have another record year in 2020, having already registered as many cases as in 2019, including record numbers of arbitrations in the year to date, an increase of 49% over last year," said DIFC-LCIA registrar Robert Stephen.

According to the DIFC-LCIA's own staff, the arbitration institution is expected to update its rules of arbitration and mediation in 2021 following changes made by the LCIA to its own rules.

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