Framework for Construction Law in the UAE

Posted on 25th April 2010 by Camille Paldi,


Law pertaining to Construction in the UAE:

a)      Articles 870 to 896 of the UAE Civil Transactions Law, Law No. 5 of 1985 (“Civil Transactions Law”) relating to construction works as well as general principles from the legal framework relating to construction.

b)      UAE Civil Procedural Law No. 11 of 1992 (“CPL”) and Civil Transactions Law with regards to Arbitration Procedure (see below).

c)      In addition, the provisions of the UAE Commercial Transactions Law No. 18 of 1993 (“Commercial Transactions Law)” would also apply to the extent that the parties to a construction claim can be defined as traders carrying out commercial business in accordance with Articles 6 and 11 of the Commercial Transactions Law.

d)     Specialized Laws and Decrees such as Law No. (6) of 1997 relating to contracts with Government Departments in the Emirate of Dubai and Law No. 6 of 2008 relating to contracts with Government Departments in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. ( We have copies of both laws in Arabic and English available in our office). 

e)      FIDIC – Conditions of Contract for Works of Civil Engineering Construction.

f)       Dubai Municipality Conditions of Contract for Works of Civil Engineering Construction. (click links)

Articles of UAE Civil Code and Civil Transaction Law Relevant to Arbitration:

Article 3 of the Civil Transactions Law: Public Policy.

CPL Articles 203 – 246: Arbitration.

CPL Articles 247 – 312: Attachment.

CPL Article 235: Enforcement of awards similar to foreign judgments: award needs to be res judicata in originating country and not in contradiction with previous UAE judgments or Public Policy.

CPL Article 235 – 238: Enforcement of arbitral awards (foreign).

CPL Article 255(2) – Must file arbitration action within 8 days of a successful attachment order from the court.  You can attach assets before filing an arbitration case.

In addition:

The UAE belongs to the following Conventions: New York Convention; Riyadh Convention; GCC Convention; ICSID Convention; (award should be enforceable at point of origin and in line with UAE public policy).

It is possible to get DIFC arbitration awards ratified by the DIFC courts through the 2009 Protocol.

Posted on 25th April 2010 by Camille Paldi

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