Reed Smith In-depth

Key takeaways

  • DIAC has undergone a significant transformation following Decree No. 34
  • DIAC remains one of the busiest arbitration centres in the Middle East with some 355 arbitrations registered in 2023
  • Recent judgments have addressed the issue of uncertainty post-Decree 34 regarding the validity and enforceability of DIFC-LCIA arbitration agreements


Following the issuance of Decree No. 34 of 2021 in September 2021 (Decree 34), the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) replaced both the Dubai International Financial Centre-London Court of International Arbitration Arbitration Centre (the DIFC-LCIA) and the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre (EMAC). Accordingly, arbitration in Dubai was consolidated into one single centre. Since then, DIAC went through a number of transformations, including adopting new rules and revamping its administrative function.

In this alert, we consider how DIAC has evolved as an institution since then and which challenges remain following the issuance of Decree 34. We also include a preview of DIAC’s 2023 and Q1 2024 statistics and developments.