I.                   Introduction

In accordance with the stipulations set forth in Article 42/1 of the UAE Federal Law No. 6/2018 on Arbitration (the “Law”),parties engaging in arbitration proceedings are bound by specific timelines for the issuance of an arbitral award. Should the Arbitral Tribunal fail to meet these prescribed deadlines, Article 42/2 provides a recourse for the concerned parties to seek an extension through the competent court.

II.                 Legal Framework

Article 42/1 of the Law is of paramount significance in this context. It states:

“The Arbitral Tribunal shall give the award terminating the dispute, within the time limit agreed by the Parties. If there is no agreement on a specified time limit or a method to determine said date, the award shall be rendered within six months from the date of the first hearing of the arbitration proceedings. Moreover, the Arbitral Tribunal may decide to extend the period up to no more than six (6) additional months, unless otherwise agreed by the Parties.”

This provision establishes clear guidelines for the issuance of arbitral awards, setting both agreed-upon timeframes and, in the absence of such agreement, a standard six-month period from the commencement of proceedings.

III.              Procedure for Requesting an Extension

In the event that the Arbitral Tribunal fails to issue the arbitral award within the prescribed timelines outlined in Article 42/1 of the Law, the parties or the tribunal may request the competent court to extend the period. Article 42/2 of the Law governs this process and provides the necessary procedural steps.

A.                 Submission of Writ on Petition:

The initiating party must submit a substantiated Writ on Petition to the president of the Court of Appeal (the “Judge“), as mandated by Article 18 of the Law. This request must provide a comprehensive explanation of the grounds justifying the request for an extension of the arbitral award period in accordance with Article 42 of the Law.

B.                  Discretionary Power of the Judge:

1.                  Acceptance without Hearing:

The Judge may, after reviewing the Writ on Petition, opt to accept the request without scheduling a hearing if the grounds presented are deemed sufficient and in compliance with the Law.

2.                  Scheduling a Hearing:

Alternatively, the Judge may decide to schedule a hearing. During this hearing, the involved parties will have the opportunity to present their defense and provide additional evidence or arguments to support their position.

IV.             Considerations and Requirements

It is imperative to recognize that the specific procedures and requirements for extending the period for arbitral awards may vary based on the arbitration agreement, any prior agreements between the parties, and the discretion of the arbitral tribunal. Parties should meticulously review their agreements to ensure compliance with the specific provisions applicable to their case.

Furthermore, it is important to note that legal representation is typically required when engaging with the court in such matters. Therefore, a Power of Attorney must be granted to authorize representation before the court.

V.                Dubai Courts Precedent: Case No. 118 of 2023

In a recent judgment (Case No. 118 of 2023), the Dubai courts addressed an order on petition arbitration, extending the issuance of the arbitral award in response to the request of the arbitral tribunal, consistent with the provisions outlined in the Law.

VI.             Conclusion

In conclusion, the UAE Federal Law No. 6/2018 on Arbitration provides a structured framework for addressing delayed arbitral awards. Parties are granted the recourse to seek an extension through the competent court, subject to specific procedural steps and considerations. Parties engaged in arbitration should navigate this process judiciously and seek legal counsel to ensure compliance and effective representation before the court.


More from M&CO Legal