The DIAC Rules 2022

Middle East, UAE


Following the consolidation of the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (“DIAC”) as the sole arbitration centre in Dubai (as reported here), a new set of arbitral rules was published by DIAC on 2 March 2022 (the “New Rules”). The New Rules (available here) are stated to compliment the UAE’s Arbitration Law[1] and will come into effect on 21 March 2022; applying to proceedings where the request for arbitration was submitted after this date. A summary of the key points to note in the New Rules is set out below.


The New Rules permit the parties to agree upon the seat of arbitration, failing which the seat shall initially be the Dubai International Financial Centre. However, the tribunal shall have the power to finally determine the seat of the arbitration after considering the parties’ observations as well as any other relevant circumstances.[2]

Consolidation and joinder

The New Rules provide for the claimant to submit a single request for arbitration in respect of multiple claims arising out of more than one arbitration agreement.[3] Where there is more than one arbitration agreement, the Arbitration Court may allow the proceedings to continue as a single arbitration where certain conditions are satisfied, including (without limitation) where the same parties are involved.[4] Powers are also conferred onto tribunals to consolidate arbitrations after their appointment.[5]

Additionally, provisions are included in the New Rules permitting the joinder of third parties to the arbitration (as additional claimants or respondents).[6] The joinder may be permitted either by the Arbitration Court or the tribunal itself.[7]

Third-party funding

The New Rules now expressly provide for and permit the use of third-party funding in arbitration, provided that the funded party discloses the fact, together with details of the funder’s identity and whether the funder has committed to any adverse costs liability.[8] Importantly, the tribunal may take into account the existence of any third party adverse costs liability when apportioning the costs of the arbitration.[9]

Expedited proceedings

Provisions for proceedings to be expedited have also been covered in the New Rules.[10] Expedited proceedings shall be applied where the sums claimed and counterclaimed are AED 1,000,000 or less (unless otherwise agreed), the parties agree to the proceedings being expedited, or the case is of exceptional urgency.[11] In such cases the award must be issued within 3 months of when the tribunal receives the file (unless otherwise determined by the Arbitration Court).[12] Crucially, the provisions applicable to expedited proceedings will apply only to agreements to arbitrate made after the New Rules come into force.[13]

Interim measures / emergency arbitrators

The New Rules contain an appendix specifically setting out powers for tribunals to order interim measures during the proceedings.[14] The interim measures available to the tribunal are extensive and generally are in line with the provisions of the Arbitration Law. Processes for the application for emergency interim relief and the appointment of emergency arbitrators in this regard are also provided for.[15]

Legal costs

The New Rules provide rights for tribunals to issue awards in respect of the costs of arbitration[16] and to apportion these.[17] This touches upon one of the key (and likely most welcome) factors in the New Rules which is that the costs of arbitration are expressly stated to include the fees and expenses of the parties’ legal representatives.[18] The inclusion of this provision will hopefully clarify what has been a consistently grey area in respect of DIAC arbitrations in the past.


The New Rules represent a significant departure from the previous set and clearly have been designed to assure would be arbitral parties that DIAC can offer proceedings that are streamlined; and that can be tailored to specific cases. The New Rules are aligned not only with the UAE’s Arbitration Law but they also correspond to international standards.

The implementation of the New Rules, along with the merging of Dubai’s existing arbitration centres last year, should ensure that DIAC continues to hold the position as one of the leading arbitration centres both in the UAE and the region at large.

[1] Federal Law No. 6 of 2018.

[2] Article 20.1.

[3] Article 8.1.

[4] Article 8.2.

[5] Articles 8.5 – 8.9.

[6] See generally Article 9.

[7] Articles 9.1 and 9.4.

[8] See generally Article 22.

[9] Article 22.3

[10] Article 32.

[11] Article 32.1.

[12] Article 32.5.

[13] Article 2.4.

[14] See generally Appendix 2, Article 1.

[15] See generally Appendix 2, Article 2.

[16] Article 36.2.

[17] Article 36.3.

[18] Article 36.1.