In brief  

Following the issuance of Decree No. 34 of 2021 which abolished the DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre, the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) and the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) have now confirmed the administration of DIFC-LCIA cases going forward.

According to their joint press release issued on 28 March 2022, all cases commenced and registered with the DIFC-LCIA on or before 20 March 2022 will now be administered by the LCIA. Cases commenced before 21 March 2022, but without a designated case number, and arbitrations and other forms of dispute resolution proceedings commenced on or after 21 March 2022, will now be registered by the DIAC and administered directly by its administrative body.

In detail – The administration of DIFC-LCIA cases following its abolishment

On 14 September 2021, the Government of Dubai issued Decree No. 34 of 2021, abolishing the DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre. In a joint press release issued on 28 March 2022, the DIAC and the LCIA have now confirmed how new and ongoing disputes, that previously would have been administered by the DIFC-LCIA, will be handled consistent with the terms of Decree No. 34.

For cases that were commenced and registered by the DIFC-LCIA under a designated case number on or before 20 March 2022, the LCIA will now administer these cases from London. In addition, the funds of the parties held on behalf of DIFC-LCIA (and now owned by DIAC) will be distributed by LCIA directly to the respective beneficiaries. Although the LCIA has said it will communicate with affected parties as soon as practicable, queries can be directed to [email protected].

For all other arbitrations, mediations and alternative dispute resolution proceedings commenced on or after 21 March 2022, or cases commenced before 21 March 2022 but without a designated case number, these cases will now be administered by DIAC in accordance with the respective rules of procedure of DIAC, unless otherwise agreed by the parties. Payments for arbitration costs made by parties will therefore be paid into accounts owned by DIAC.  Queries for cases falling under this category can be directed to [email protected]

To speak to us in relation to Decree No. 34 and the administration of DIFC-LCIA cases, any disputes or arbitration related matters, or issues generally, please feel free to contact one of the team members below or your usual Baker McKenzie contact.


Dr. Habib Al Mulla is the Executive Chairman of Habib Al Mulla & Partners, a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International and the Head of the Dispute Resolution practice in the UAE. He is one of the UAE’s most highly respected legal authorities with over 34 years’ experience in UAE law and has drafted many of the modern legislative structures in place in Dubai today. Dr. Habib focuses his practice on litigation and arbitration. He is Chairman of the CIArb (Chartered Institute of Arbitrators) UAE Committee and most recently served as Chairman of the board of trustees for the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC).


Sally Kotb is a counsel in Baker McKenzie's Dubai office, specializing in international commercial arbitration with a particular focus on energy and construction disputes. She has drafted expert legal opinions in support of both international and domestic arbitrations, and is experienced in enforcement of foreign and domestic awards in the UAE. She is the regional representative of the LCIA Young International Arbitration Group (YIAG) and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb).


Marlize Dumas is an associate in Baker McKenzie's Dispute Resolution Practice Group in Dubai. Her practice focuses on the resolution of commercial disputes spanning a range of sectors, including construction, mining and financial services. Marlize has gained experience in conducting arbitration references under leading international arbitration rules, such as the ICC and is currently involved in an arbitration reference before DIAC.


Youssef Nassar is an associate in Baker McKenzie's Dubai office. He specializes in international arbitration across a variety of sectors. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, Youssef practiced with major law firms in Cairo, was a Visiting Attorney with an international law firm in New York, and trained with international law firms in Paris and Dubai.

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