Mediation Law in UAE

The UAE Mediation Law is a groundbreaking law which had been amended in 2021. For the first time in the UAE, a comprehensive regulatory framework for mediation was established. It ensures consistency in the legal framework that applies across all emirates. The statute follows a global trend actively encouraging or requiring civil dispute mediation.

What is Mediation Law?

“Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party assists disputing parties in resolving their disagreements or conflicts through the use of specialized techniques and methods of negotiation.”

It’s a cost-effective alternative to traditional dispute resolution. The mediator is a neutral third party who helps rather than directs the process. Mediation has evolved into a peaceful and universally accepted conflict resolution mechanism. Irrespective of the dispute’s size, it can be resolved through mediation.

Latest update of Mediation Law in the UAE

The UAE government passed the Federal Law No.6 of 2021 on Mediation for the Settlement of Civil and Commercial Disputes in April 2021. The updated law sets a format for mediation in the UAE, as well as the mediator’s responsibilities. Before this, the UAE did not have a legislative framework guiding the mediation process. The lack of a structured format was a key concern regarding the clarity of the process till the law was introduced.

Mediation benefits both parties and considers both sides. All stakeholders can now have a secure and confidential legal framework that they can use to get compensation after negotiation, unenforceable and acceptable conditions.

A mediation agreement is mandatory for the process and completion of the mediation. Below are the important elements of mediation:

  • The subject of contention.
  • The process of mediator appointment and his or her information.
  • The language that will be used throughout the process of mediation.

Although Arabic is used in UAE courts by default, you can mention alternate language choices in your agreement.

Key Features of the New Law

Chapter 2 ad 3 of the new mediation law mentions two types of mediation: Judicial and Non-judicial mediation.

Judicial Mediation: Competent courts now have the authority to submit disagreements to mediation at any stage of the proceedings if both parties agree. The court’s decision to refer the case for mediation must also specify the following elements:

  • both parties undertaking to appear for mediation,
  • provide all the necessary information and documents to the mediator,
  • the subject of mediation,
  • its duration (not more than 3 months renewable once) and
  • mediation cost.

Non-Judicial Mediation: Another important change in this act is that the parties are no longer required to participate in the trial or file a case in Court for mediation. Ad-hoc arbitration is possible now after this amendment. The parties can directly go to the arbitration center to resolve disputes with your arbitration lawyers in UAE. Before taking any legal action, both parties who have agreed to enter a mediation agreement can go to a ‘Mediation and Conciliation Centre’ (a center created under Federal Law No. 17 of 2016 as amended or any other regional law).

A supervising judge must approve an application for non-judicial mediation. According to Articles 22(1) and 23 of mediation law, unless the mediation agreement is unlawful or impossible to implement, the court can ban any party from pursuing legal action in court or arbitration.

Mediation Process

The mediation process is held confidentially. All information submitted, processed or shared during the mediation is not shared before the courts. The information can be disclosed only if both parties agree. However, the rules of confidentiality do not apply to the provisions of the Payment Agreement.

The courts provide the list of mediators. The judge appoints the mediators from the list or the contracting parties. If the parties oppose the mediator chosen by the courts, they can request a change.

For mediators to remain unbiased, there are a few requisites the mediator must satisfy:

  • They must not act as the arbitrator or expert or accept a power of attorney in a case against any party involved in arbitration, even after the termination of mediation.
  • They must not provide evidence against any parties to the dispute unless the evidence is related to a criminal offense.
  • They must not have their spouses or relatives working as mediators up to the fourth level.

The mediator’s appointment can be canceled under some conditions, such as

  • Where there is a case of the settlement agreement.
  • Where both parties, including mediators, decide to terminate the agreement before resolution.
  • When the party decides to terminate or the time of termination has arrived.

Mediation Center

The law allows for both independent mediation centers and licensing of foreign mediation centers. Further details on the licensing condition and applications of the institutions can be released in the future by Cabinet Resolution. The relevant minister issues the Code of Conduct for the mediation business. The mediation center aims to:

  • Encourage various ADR methods.
  • Promote speedy disposal of cases.
  • Enhance the continuity of contractual relations.
  • Promote the culture of settlement through conciliation.
  • Provide an environment whereby confidentiality is maintained.

Whoever wants to apply for mediation can submit their application to the mediation centers. The application must accompany the mediation agreement. Other necessities for application submission are:

  • All parties involved must be allowed in mediation.
  • The subject of the mediation.
  • All necessary documents and information.
  • Appointing mediator.
  • Agreed time for mediation.
  • The commitment of a team requesting mediation to attend sessions.

Articles 7 and 8 of the new law allow the president of the First Dubai Court to delegate the Center for Conciliation’s powers to government agencies or certified organizations, which will subsequently resolve conflicts amicably. As though they were working for the Mediation Agency, any arbitrators or mediators from other parties are bound by the rules and conditions of the Mediation Act. Any transfer to a public or private entity must be limited to disputes between businesses and private entities. Article 10 enables the formation of a Mediation Affairs Committee to facilitate any suitable transfer. Members of this committee have the authority to determine whether a government agency or a commercial entity is capable of resolving conflicts between the agencies.


As a result of all of these provisions, private organizations can also establish mediation centers but need to be formally recognized by the courts. Apart from this, the parties are also allowed to design their mediation agreement. This gives them the freedom to choose their own forum for dispute settlement. Additionally, the anonymity of their issue is respected, and the conflict is resolved faster and at a low cost. These characteristics strengthen and expedite the dispute settlement process in the UAE. The mediation law in the UAE has eased the way for the efficient conflict resolution process, benefiting both judicial and non-judicial businesses.

For any kind of mediation services, you can contact our experienced mediation and arbitration lawyers.

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