Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre commences resolving disputes in Mideast

As of September 25, 2016, Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre (EMAC) is now fully functional and operational with its team and is ready to accept arbitration and mediation and applications or any queries related to EMAC, its services and/or facilities.

Majid Bin Bashir, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of EMAC said: “EMAC is an independent not-for-profit entity established by Decree No. 14, for the year 2016, making it the first specialized maritime arbitration centre to be established in the MENA region. EMAC aims to serve businesses across the UAE, the GCC and the MENA by facilitating the dispute resolution of maritime issues in a professional manner.”

EMAC has formally started operations after it has completed its set up in its new offices located in DIFC, building 5, level 3.

EMAC’s website is now also online and updated with all key information (www.emac.org.ae) that users can benefit from including amongst other information, decree establishing EMAC and the statute in relation to EMAC’s governance, EMAC Arbitration and Mediation Rules, application to become arbitrators etc.

EMAC’s vision is excellence in maritime arbitration and its mission is providing a trusted and global standard for maritime arbitration services.

Bashir added that “EMAC is an advanced maritime arbitration centre with its rules based on internationally recognized and accepted standards such as those of the UNCITRAL and uses the DIFC as its default jurisdiction enabling enforcement of arbitral awards in a timely fashion.”

EMAC Arbitration Rules and Mediation Rules have been approved by the Board of Trustees and are now in effect. The rules address standard application procedures for arbitration and mediation and the associated fees. The Arbitration Rules also identify the possibility of fast track arbitration if necessary. Furthermore, emergency arbitration for interim measures are also addressed and accounted for in the event of extreme urgency.

EMAC has a list of selected globally renounced arbitrators, mediators and experts accessible to it to facilitate effective and timely arbitration and mediation. Emergency arbitrators are also readily available to ensure fast interim action may be taken if necessary

To ensure a global standard of arbitration and mediation EMAC offers a variety of additional services such as arbitration/mediation meeting rooms, appointment of translators, session stenographers and case secretaries. All of these services are intended to streamline the process making it seamless, timely and very cost effective.

Richard Briggs, a member of EMAC’s Executive Committee stated: “We are confident of meeting the challenge of being a specialised regional and international arbitration centre operating out of the UAE, servicing and adding to the maritime and trade cluster already thriving in the region”.

EMAC urges companies and organizations (public and private) within the maritime sector to start using EMAC model arbitration and mediation clauses in its contracts, standard terms and conditions etc. to facilitate fast dispute resolution to ensure the advancement and continuous development of the sector. The model clauses are available on EMAC’s website.

EMAC is now open to membership. EMAC’s membership approach is intended to create a platform for discussions and engagement to further the sector. There are corporate membership and individual membership packages. Some of the members benefits include:

a.                   Special discounts at EMAC’s conferences, workshops and other capacity building programs

b.                  Being listed in the members’ directory that will be published and widely distributed

c.                   An opportunity to increase understanding of intricate maritime dispute affairs through exchange of ideas and discussion forums

d.                  Prospect of networking with sector professionals

e.                   Playing a role in developing maritime arbitration

As part of its commitment to the sector, EMAC will be holding workshops, seminars and lectures about maritime issues, arbitration and mediation issues and other related topics that are of interest to its members, the sector or necessary for the overall development of the sector.

The first such event will be EMAC’s formal public launch on November 2, 2016 during Dubai Maritime Summit. EMAC will also hold an introductory panel in Abu Dhabi during the ADIPEC event on November 10, 2016. In the schedule of events, there is an upcoming event in Fujairah in March 2017 to engage the different stakeholders in the sector.