April 19, 2015. Dubai, United Arab Emirates: The Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) recently held a comprehensive workshop for various governmental and non-governmental bodies and companies working in the UAE’s maritime sector to discuss the best practices in international arbitration and the working mechanisms of the 'Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre (EMAC).” The session, which was attended by H.E. Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al-Nuaimi, Minister of Public Works and Chairman of the Federal Authority for Land and Maritime Transport in the UAE, highlighted the importance of specialized maritime arbitration in the UAE in light of increasing maritime disputes and stiff competition in international trade.
Speaking to the participants in the workshop, H.E. Dr. Belhaif said: “The UAE’s maritime sector has witnessed rapid developments and leading achievements in global competitiveness which require concerted efforts and more effective communications between stakeholders in order to unify supervisory and regulatory standards.”
Dr. Belhaif added: “The Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre is launched to resolve disputes arising from marine business transactions and strategically enhance the UAE’s status as a global maritime hub, as maritime arbitration is one of the pillars of global maritime clusters. Maritime Arbitration is a basic legal system that is indispensable in settling maritime disputes, as it has been developed in order to advance maritime trade and progress and prosperity overall.”
“The Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre will help consolidate the UAE’s maritime laws and regulations which are important factors for promoting the maritime sector and attracting ship owners to the UAE. The center will contribute to the UAE’s competitiveness and improve its global maritime image, resulting in higher investor confidence and foreign investment flows to the UAE. It will also work on rehabilitating national legal cadres and providing them with global maritime expertise,” Dr. Belhaif concluded.
The workshop was attended by lawyers from across the UAE; senior officials and representatives of various companies and maritime agencies operating in the maritime sectors of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman and Fujairah; and international law firms, many of which specialize in or deal with maritime arbitration.
Amer Ali, Executive Director of Dubai Maritime City Authority, said: 'The hosting of this workshop affirms our belief in the importance of involving all the relevant authorities in the process of developing maritime arbitration in the country and enhancing maritime competitiveness. As maritime trade increases, the resulting disputes will require maritime arbitration to arrive at settlements quickly, safely, and at low cost.'
“The launching of the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre creates an institutional platform for maritime relationships and the regulation and management of arbitration through various administrative bodies and regulations. The center will be promoted as the best place for the settlement of maritime disputes. As the UAE represents the premier center in the region to attract investments in general and the maritime sector in particular, it will be able to move forward in the implementation of the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre project and join the ranks of developed countries in this field,' concluded Ali.
The workshop discussed legal frameworks and legislations of maritime arbitration, provisions and regulations of the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre and its mechanisms at the local, regional and international levels. It reviewed many legal aspects of maritime arbitration and the importance of resorting to maritime arbitration and its institutions. The EMAC aims to develop an alternative mechanism to settle disputes in order to enhance the role of the maritime sector in the UAE.
The Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre is a first-of-its-kind centre in the region that addresses market needs by providing advanced maritime arbitration conducted by highly experienced arbitrators. The center is a fundamental component of the legal infrastructure for the maritime sector in Dubai and the whole UAE. It will boost investor confidence in the local maritime environment and attract ship owners from around the world. The center is based on a legal system that provides all forms of litigation and multiple arbitration mechanisms in accordance with the highest standards of confidentiality and transparency. It offers several legal options to resolve disputes on various maritime business transactions.