According to the New York Convention, the United Arab Emirates is a party to the treaty. The UAE courts of cassation have made it plain that international arbitration awards may be recognized and enforced under the New York Convention, notwithstanding some confusion in the past about the implementation of local conditions for the recognition and enforcement of decisions. Some international arbitration awards may also be recognized via the DIFC offshore court system, avoiding the uncertainty in UAE enforcement.

Enforcement of Foreign Award

Chapter 4 of the Executive Regulations contains the framework for enforcing foreign judgments, orders, and bonds. 

Courts in financial free zones. Under the following legislation, the DIFC and ADGM courts have the authority to enforce foreign judgments:

  1. DIFC: Under Article 24(1)(a) of the DIFC Court Lawthe DIFC courts have the authority to confirm foreign court judgements.
  2. ADGM: Under Chapter 10 of the ADGM Court Regulationsthe ADGM courts have the authority to approve and execute foreign court judgements.

Requirements for enforcing foreign awards

  • Under UAE Arbitration Law

As stated in Article 2 of the UAE Arbitral Law, Article 55 lays forth the method for enforcing arbitration verdicts. Article 55 of the UAE Arbitration Law states that the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal must be notified of a request to ratify and enforce a judgment, together with the necessary documents:

  • A certified copy of the award;
  • A copy of the arbitration agreement; 
  • If the award was not published in Arabic, 
  • An Arabic translation certified by a competent body; and
  •  a copy of the court minutes in which the award was deposited.

Article 55(2) further states:

Section 1 of Article 53 of this Law mandates that “the chief justice of the Court or anyone he delegated from among its judges should order the arbitral decision approved and executed within sixty days of filing of the request for its confirmation and enforcement.” As a result, the UAE Arbitration Law has adopted an accelerated enforcement regime for arbitration rulings by submitting a petition to the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal or anyone he designates to execute that job. It is expected that this petition will be resolved within 60 days of its filing.

  1. Under Executive Regulation

Article 85(2) of the Executive Regulations states that the foreign judgment or order shall be enforced in UAE courts in line with ordinary litigation processes in effect in the UAE. Still, it also establishes some minimum standards that must be satisfied. Among the minimal conditions are the following: 

  • The UAE courts do not have exclusive jurisdiction over the subject matter of the ruling.
  • The ruling is not in disagreement with a UAE court decision or with the UAE’s public order or morality.

However, the provisions of any treaties or agreements between the UAE and other countries on enforcing foreign judgments, orders, and documents are explicitly unaffected by these requirements. (Article 88, Executive Regulations).


  1. A request for an enforcement order must be submitted to the execution court by the foreign judgment creditor. The statement of claim and the application form must include the same information. 
  2. The execution judge must give a ruling within three days after being sworn in. Before imposing an order, the execution judge might ask for documentation to support the application.
  3. The enforcement order might be challenged following the norms and procedures for appealing a verdict.
  1. Under DIFC:

When enforcing other courts’ judgements, the DIFC courts will consider whether the Court that issued the decision has jurisdiction to decide the case. The DIFC courts will presume that the foreign Court had jurisdiction if the defendant was:

  • Present in the jurisdiction at the time the proceedings were initiated.
  • A participant in the proceedings.
  • Other than that, the competent Court’s jurisdiction is invoked.
  1.  Under ADGM

Section 175(1)(a)(ii) of the ADGM Court Regulations provides that, upon application by any party against whom a registered judgment may be enforced, the judgment’s registration may be set aside if the ADGM court of the first instance determines that the original Court lacked jurisdiction in the circumstances of the case. The conditions for an issuing court to take jurisdiction are specified in Article 175(2) of the ADGM Courts Regulations. If these elements are not satisfied, the decision will be struck down upon the person’s request against whom it was rendered.

Required Documents for Filing a Foreign Judgment

The following documents/information must be given if the enforcement is for a foreign judgment:

  • The Petition
  • The applicant’s power of attorney.
  • A copy of the foreign judgment that has been certified notarized, and legalized.
  • Other Supporting Documents: This usually entails proving that the verdict is final and cannot be challenged, as well as any additional documentation needed to show that all procedural procedures and defendant service were followed. A qualified translator must translate the paperwork supporting the submissions into Arabic.

This informative article contains general information. It is not intended to be used as legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Before taking any legal action, it is always advisable to obtain legal counsel from a knowledgeable lawyer on the legal concerns impacting you. HHS lawyers in Dubai  specialized in dealing with issues relating to Arbitration. Should you want to know more about the case or face any problem regarding the procedure for filing an arbitration request before Court or at the Arbitration centre, don’t hesitate to contact Arbitration Lawyers in Dubai UAE.

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