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No need to register a case when you can settle outside through Mediation in Dubai!

No need to register a case when you can settle outside through Mediation in Dubai!


Mediation has deep historical roots in Arabic culture through the concept of “sulh” (reconciliation). In the present times, this alternative dispute resolution mechanism is widely followed as a time bound, economical and an amicable settlement can be reached through this process. Having regard to its importance, Mr. Sheikh Mohamjimed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, issued law no (18) of 2021 which aims to regulate the service related to the mediation in the Emirates of Dubai.

Historical Landscape

Prior to the establishment of a well settled mechanism, the UAE onshore legal system provided limited scope for mediation. Particularly, the federal law No. 26/1999 (The Establishment of Conciliation and Reconciliation Committees at the Federal Courts) provided for the settlement of disputes through the dispute reconciliation committees. It was recommended for the parties to sit for the pre-action mediation for settling their civil, criminal or commercial disputs.

The real development occurred in the year 2009 when the Dubai Law No. 16/2009 was brought into force. In exercise of the power conferred under the said law, the “Dubai Centre for Amicable Settlement of Disputes “(DCASD) was established in the year 2012 for settling the disputes through mutual consent. The DCASD provides for the involvement of a mediator in settling the dispute. The mediators were allowed to review the dispute and send them again to the Dubai court in case the settlement wasn’t reached by the parties.

However, the law was still insufficient to meet the changing demand and various lacunae appeared therein. So, in order to overhaul the existing legal system, this present law was brought into force.

What does this new law offer?

  1. The main objective behind the promulgation of this law is to modify the methods and enhance the efficiency of the mediation procedure in the Dubai Emirate. It aims to promote dispute resolution as one of the primary method to resolve any dispute
  2. This law will apply to the Centre for Amicable Settlement of Disputes (DCASD) established under the Dubai Law No. (16) of 2009 and anyone involved in the business of resolving civil and criminal disputes through mediation in Dubai.
  3. The present law will override all the existing laws. It means that the provisions of Law No (16) of 2009 will cease to have effect in Dubai. However, it is important to note that the decisions  issued as part of the implementation of Law No (16) of 2009 will continue to operate, if they don’t contradict the Articles of the new law.
  4. As per the new law, the centre hears and adjudicates disputes referred to it by a decision issued by the President of Dubai Courts, in addition to those that all parties in a dispute agree to refer for mediation.
  5. This law will provide the procedure which is going to be followed by the Centre for Amicable Settlement of Disputes. The duties of the director of the Dubai Court of First Instance is also outlined in the new law.
  6. The court will provide a list of one or more judges who will not only supervise the procedure of mediation but also indulge in hearing and settlement of disputes.
  7. The new law provides 2 form of mediation namely
  • Mediation through the Court
    In this form, the parties to the litigation at any time can refer their dispute to the mediation. Normally, the period of mediation is of 3 months and it can be extended upon the approval of court in special circumstances.
  • Mediation out of Court:
    When the parties agree to refer their dispute to mediation instead of approaching the court, it is dealt by a special mediation center and a mediator is appointed thereafter.


In a nutshell, it is a landmark legislation related to mediation in Dubai. It will not only smoothen the procedure but also encourage the parties to settle their dispute amicably instead of a prolonged litigation.


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