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What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is a method of resolving disputes outside of court where the dispute is referred to one or more arbitrators who make a binding decision. In choosing arbitration over court proceedings, the parties opt for a process that is neutral, confidential, time and cost efficient, flexible, and with a globally enforceable outcome. One of the key differences between arbitration and traditional court proceedings is that the former is based on consensus. This means that parties must choose in favour of arbitration. This choice can be made in the original contract between the parties (in what is often referred to as an arbitration clause), in an international treaty, or at any time after the dispute has arisen (in a so-called submission agreement). The parties’ expression of consent to be bound by the arbitration process often contains language as to how that process must be conducted. For example, arbitration clauses typically include the language of the proceedings, where in the world the arbitration takes place, and which substantive laws apply. Another aspect that arbitration clauses often address is the arbitral institution (commonly referred to as ‘arbitration centre’) in charge of managing the proceedings.

Arbitration centres and their role in the arbitral process

Arbitration is an inherently flexible dispute resolution mechanism built on party agreement. The inevitable consequence is that there are a lot of choices to be made. What is the timeline for rendering a decision? How are arbitrators selected? What happens if one of the arbitrators resigns? What if a third party wants to join the proceedings? To avoid having to draft 50-page arbitration clauses that answer all these questions, parties often choose to simply refer to an arbitration centre’s set of arbitration rules, which are made publicly available by the centres. Arbitration centres not only provide a framework that governs the procedural aspects of arbitrations, they also act as ‘administrators’ of the proceedings. The institutions oversee the arbitrations conducted under their wing, decide over certain challenges, appoint the arbitrators, scrutinize the decision of the arbitrators, etc. The Abu Dhabi International Arbitration Centre is one such institution. At arbitrateAD, we offer institutional arbitration services of the highest international standards. Our arbitration rules are geared towards efficiency and flexibility, and our case management team consists of renowned arbitration experts from across the globe. The fees associated with arbitrateAD arbitration are transparent and straightforward and can be consulted using our cost calculator.

Unlike institutional arbitration, where a specific arbitral institution (like the Abu Dhabi International Arbitration Centre) administers the proceedings under a predetermined set of arbitration rules, ad hoc arbitration allows the disputing parties to create their own arbitration rules specifically tailored to their dispute. While ad hoc arbitration typically involves a do-it-yourself approach, parties can still opt for administrative support from an arbitral institution. This support might include assistance in appointing arbitrators, providing hearing facilities, offering secretarial services, or facilitating emergency arbitration. The Abu Dhabi International Arbitration Centre currently offers acting as appointing authority in ad hoc arbitrations. For more information, please reach out to info@arbitrateAD.ae.

The Abu Dhabi International Arbitration Centre will soon be offering state-of-the-art hearing rooms designed to cater to the evolving needs of the international arbitration community. Our new hearing facilities are being equipped with cutting-edge technology to accommodate virtual, hybrid, and in-person meetings. From secure document handling to digital recording systems, the hearing rooms will offer integrated technology tailored to your proceedings.