Regional and global legal and maritime communities show wide interest in Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre

Thursday 21 April 2016

Dubai - MENA Herald: The official appointment of members of the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre (EMAC) Board of Trustees, the first center of its kind in the Middle East involved in the settlement of maritime disputes in accordance with legal frameworks and thoughtful and independent regulatory controls, is an important qualitative leap towards consolidating the foundations of maritime arbitration as a major contributor to the world’s maritime communities. The aim is to achieve the ambitious goal of making the UAE one of the most competitive maritime centers in the world. The decree ordering the appointments was issued by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai. It stipulates the formation of the Board of Trustees for EMAC and designates Sir Anthony Coleman as Chairman and Majid Obaid bin Bashir as Vice Chairman.

H.E. Sultan Bin Sulayem, Chairman of the Dubai Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and President of Dubai Maritime City Authority, said: “It is not surprising for Dubai to incubate the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre which is of special importance as a proactive regional initiative for the settlement of disputes according to developed arbitration mechanisms and thoughtful and independent legal frameworks and regulatory controls.”

H.E. added: “The centre reflects the high level of professionalism and leadership reached by the UAE in terms of the development of world-class legislative and legal system that represent the vision and directions of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to place UAE at the forefront of the world’s most prominent maritime capitals by the year 2020. We are confident that the centre will play a pivotal role in the organization of maritime arbitration which has become an urgent need for improving the performance, safety, efficiency and competitiveness of the local maritime sector and for gaining the trust of regional and international investors in Dubai’s and UAE maritime sector with all its opportunities and promising prospects.”

The EMAC Board of Trustees was formed through a generous initiative of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, at the beginning of 2015. The board includes an elite group of influential government, maritime, legal and business figures, namely, Ahmad Issa Al Falahi, Dr. Ali Obaid Al Yabhouni, Dr. Chi-Sang Kim, Mohammed Al Muallem, Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamsi, Mohammed Saeed Al Kindi, Saadi Abdul Rahim Al Rais, Saeed Al Malek, Capt. Jitendra Misra, Richard Briggs, Edward Newitt, Christopher Mills and Essam Bella.

The launch of the center is timely as maritime sector in Dubai and the UAE is currently witnessing outstanding development which requires the existence of a fundamental pillar for updating maritime regulations and operational strategies. This will contribute to the improvement of the performance, safety, efficiency and competitiveness of the maritime sector in the country.

The Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre is a significant addition to ongoing efforts to meet the urgent need for clear and sophisticated regulatory frameworks for maritime arbitration, as the world is witnessing an increasing number of disputes arising in conjunction with the steady growth in international maritime trade. The center upholds a legal system that provides absolute freedom in the selection of litigation and multiple mechanisms of arbitration in accordance with the highest standards of confidentiality, transparency and efficiency. The center also provides a wide range of legal options to resolve disputes related to various marine business operations.

The Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre reflects the successful strategic thinking of Dubai which is moving forward in developing legislative and legal structure vital to upgrading the capacity of maritime sector competitive advantages in keeping with local, regional and global accelerated developments.

The center provides an integrated framework for settling disputes arising from marine business transactions and creates a marine environment capable of meeting development needs and emerging trends. It also helps enhance the competitive features of the local maritime sector and consolidate the leadership of the emirate on the world map with the aim of achieving the goals of Dubai Maritime Sector Strategy."

Amer Ali, Executive Director of Dubai Maritime City Authority, said: “The launch of this proactive regional initiative is not baseless, but rather complements the successive achievements of Dubai which has today become one of the effective forces on the global maritime map. The Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre features a number of major advantages that make it a solid foundation for the consolidation of Dubai’s leadership as secure global hub for investors, owners and operators of ships, supported by an integrated legal and regulatory framework that is one of the best in the world. This framework will further improve the efficiency and readiness of the components of the local maritime community. We look forward to working hard to spread the centre’s message of finding effective solutions for marine disputes based on international best practices, thereby helping freely create an integrated marine environment that responds effectively to rapid changes and meets the emerging needs to achieve comprehensive and sustainable development in the future.”

The Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre adopts an approach based on excellence and innovation, establishing a solid foundation to continue the radical shift in maritime laws, regulations, and arbitration services, which are essential pillars for maintaining the prestigious position of Dubai among the global Top Ten in maritime competitiveness and attractiveness. Dubai is ahead of leading global centers such as New York, Rotterdam, and Oslo. The center promises to make valuable contributions towards boosting the confidence of investors and regional and international ship owners in local maritime system. Dubai’s maritime sector offers promising future prospects that will sustain relentless efforts to create an integrated legal environment that enhances the local maritime community and provides a positive atmosphere that encourages business and investment.

Sir Anthony Colman
International Arbitrator
Chairman of Board of Trustees of Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre

As the UAE shipping industry develops into a major international operation driven by the perceived need for the Gulf and the UAE in particular to present a key import / export hub, it has become clearly essential to provide the kind of maritime infrastructure that is available in other major maritime centres providing similar high quality international maritime services.

An essential facility of any such major maritime centre's infrastructure has to be its dispute resolution service. This has to be able to provide for speedy and economical arbitration provided for by arbitrators who are experienced both in dealing with such disputes and in conducting maritime arbitrations.

With the invaluable encouragement and support of the Dubai Maritime City Authority the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre (EMAC) has been founded to provide for this vital need.
As such we are confident that its ability to offer a high quality dispute resolution service will provide a truly helpful facility which will help to drive forward the expansion of the UAE's maritime industry.

Majid Obaid bin Bashir
Legal Consultant / Arbitrator
Vice Chairman of Board of Trustees, Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre

“The incorporation of the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Center (EMAC) comes in course of the rapid growth of the maritime sector in the United Arab Emirates in particular, and the region in general. The incorporation of a specialized center such as EMAC is nothing but a testimony to the development of arbitration in the UAE where such a development has started with the issuance of the arbitration procedures set forth in the UAE Civil Procedure Law for 1992, followed by the increase of arbitration centers in the country.

Courts in the country have an important role in the interpretation of laws and rules regulating arbitration and in the establishment of principles that have become a guiding reference for arbitrators and concerned parties. As an umbrella of arbitration, the judiciary has always been the supporter of arbitration from its initial procedures to the stage of implementation.

The process of implementing the arbitration awards has promoted the UAE’s accession to New York Arbitration Convention on the recognition and enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards in 2006 in accordance with the Federal Decree no. 43 as well as the UAE’s signing of various regional and international treaties for the implementation of arbitral awards the most important of which are: Al Riyadh Convention and the Gulf Cooperation Council Convention besides bilateral agreements with many friendly countries in a way that made the UAE a platform of arbitration which became one of the indispensible means of the settlement of trade disputes.

Accordingly, this center is a culmination of the achievements and rapid development accomplished by the maritime sector and arbitration in the country.”

Mohammed Saeed Al Kendi
Former Minister of Climate Change & Environment
Member of Board of Trustees, Emirates Maritime Arbitration Center

“The launch of Emirates Maritime Arbitration Center reflects the successful implementation of the strategic plans adopted by the Emirate of Dubai in its move to establish itself as one of the leading maritime destinations regionally and globally. Over the past few decades, Dubai has successfully developed maritime laws, regulations and legislations, which have played a vital role in promoting confidence in the efficiency of the maritime sector and encouraging diversified investment opportunities by attracting high profile investors, ship owners and leaders in the marine and logistics sector from around the world. We consider this center as a cornerstone in the efforts to further advance the remarkable developments in infrastructure and legislations to build an integrated maritime economy that is characterized by renewal, competitiveness and sustainability, which will embody the sharp vision and wise leadership of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The Emirates Maritime Arbitration Center represents a quality initiative that features strategic dimensions which will positively impact not only Dubai’s maritime sector but also the UAE’s and the Middle East as a whole.”

Saadi Abdullrahim Al Rayes
President, Dubai shipping agents association
Member of Board of Trustees, Emirates Maritime Arbitration Center

“Dubai is on the threshold of a new phase of growth, as development and prosperity can be seen across all economic sectors and vital areas of society. This is also particularly notable in the maritime sector, which holds great potential and has all the necessary features to be an international investment, trade and business center. Thus, the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Center represents a pioneering step towards solving disputes related to maritime commercial transactions in Dubai and the UAE in particular, and the Middle East in general, in accordance to legal, regulatory and legislative controls that ensure the highest levels of transparency, privacy and justice in maritime arbitration. The Emirates Maritime Arbitration Center provides a good starting point in providing an integrated maritime environment that is at par with the highest international standards practices in order to enhance maritime investors’ confidence in the local and regional markets and attract foreign direct investments.

This will help establish great strides in the efforts to improve the quality of maritime services and creating more investment opportunities in various marine sectors, such as shipping and freight services, marine insurance and travel, among other key areas, which supports national initiative to improve the competitiveness of Dubai and the UAE on the global maritime map.”

Ahmed Essa Hareb Al Falahi
CEO, Gulf Energy Maritime (GEM) PJSC
Vice Chairman, UAE Shipping Association Officers
Member of Board of Trustees, Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre

“The Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre (EMAC), the first-of-its-kind in the Middle East, has accelerated the development of key components of maritime clusters in accordance with the highest standards of diversity, innovation and excellence. The Centre will play a key role in creating an integrated and competitive maritime environment to attract global ship owners looking to capitalize on Dubai’s vibrant maritime sector in Dubai, especially in ports, support services and marine engineering. EMAC will be crucial to the development of maritime regulations and legislations. It will also support the efforts to amicably and decisively resolve the most prevalent regional maritime disputes such as rental, insurance and reinsurance of the ships, the settlement of joint maritime losses, and marine support and rescue. We are confident that the Centre will have a great impact on reinforcing Dubai’s status as a first-class international maritime hub. This can be achieved by enhancing the emirate’s competitiveness and strengths such as its strategic location, advanced infrastructure, wide range of specialized services for various maritime activities, business-friendly regulations and legislations, and economic openness. All of these factors are fundamental in order to attract investors, ship owners and pioneers from all over the world.”

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamsi
CEO, Abu Dhabi Ports,
Member of Board of Trustees, Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre

“Forming the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre (EMAC) is in response to the vision and directives of our wise leadership to continuously strengthen the UAE’s international standing as leaders in excellence across all key industries.

EMAC, an innovative regional initiative, complements the remarkable progress witnessed by the nation’s local maritime sector evident with UAE ranking first regionally and third globally in terms of quality of ports infrastructure according to the Global Competitiveness Index 2014-2015. And with the formation of EMAC, there is no doubt that the centre will provide the UAE with a strong competitive edge on par with the world’s leading maritime hubs.

By focussing the Centre’s efforts on the implementation of a legal system allowing the freedom to choose litigation law and multiple mechanisms of arbitration in accordance with the established standards for discretion, transparency and efficiency, I am confident that EMAC will play a pivotal role in enhancing the UAE’s reputation as an attractive destination among the most prominent investors and ship owners in the world looking to reinforce their regional presence and develop their marine operational processes.”

Mohammed Al Muallem
Senior Vice President & Managing Director, DP World, UAE Region
Member of Board of Trustees, Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre

“The Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre is a major step towards nurturing all efforts aimed at developing the maritime sector in Dubai. Maritime arbitration is a key pillar in the industry’s legal infrastructure and a major contributor to the growth of the maritime business trade. EMAC will undoubtedly play a vital role in raising the confidence of investors in the local maritime environment and attracting ship owners from all over the world. This will highly contribute to the sector’s integration with other economic industries and increase the maritime industry’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP). The Centre is expected to significantly help in improving the local maritime industry’s performance, efficiency and competitiveness by addressing the globally-recognized maritime legal systems, offering a wide variety of legal options to settle maritime disputes, and applying independent regulations within an integrated legal environment.”

Mr. Saeed Al Malek
President, Middle East Fuji Group
Member for UAE & Executive Vice President, International Ship Suppliers & Services Association
Member of Board of Trustees of Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre

The importance of launching a specialized center for maritime arbitration lies in its ability to provide an integrated framework that will address the challenges and obstacles facing maritime sector during this time. This provides great value as the sector has witnessed tremendous growth across all areas of operations in recent time. The maritime trade usually features disputes which call for steady and efficient solutions based on the flexible and trusted infrastructure of laws and regulations able to keep pace with the accelerated development of the maritime sector. EMAC reflects these characteristics and as such it is important to support the local maritime sector in order to help it reach global standards. Doing so will help drive the growth of various vital maritime sectors specially the ships supplying segment, which is a fundamental pillar for local maritime clustering development and a great incentive to attract investors who are looking to benefit from the promising opportunities and available capabilities within a competitive environment that is suitable for growth and development.

Dr. Chi Sang Kim
President and Chief Operating Officer, DDW
Member of Board of Trustees, Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre

“The Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre (EMAC) does not only serve the maritime industry but it also complements the emirate’s sustainable development and economic diversification strategies. EMAC paves the way for a flexible maritime environment that is attractive to local, regional and international investors. It opens up new opportunities for investors to enter into various other industries such as tourism, hospitality, travel, banking, and construction, among others. Additionally, this first-of-its kind initiative in the region drives local efforts to optimally employ the best maritime competencies and capabilities to improve performance, operational efficiency and competitiveness for the sector to reach highest international levels. We are confident that EMAC will offer robust grounds to consolidate the UAE’s position as an international model for providing best maritime services, facilities and incentives, making the country an outstanding hub for global ship owners and industry leaders.”

Capt. Jitendra Misra
Managing Director, Emarat Maritime LLC, Dubai
Member of Board of Trustees of Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre

In light of the radical changes of Dubai and UAE maritime sector, it is important to establish a specialized center for maritime arbitration to solve the maritime disputes and problems. The launch of Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre showcases the positive growth of the Dubai maritime sector, as it offers an alternative solution for addressing pressing issues without resorting to the judicial system and with high confidentiality. The center offers privacy in dealing with all cases related to maritime disputes, whether the issue lies in maritime transport, shipping, storing and unloading, maritime insurance, building, fixing and reservation of ships among other maritime activities. The center is also a crucial step in achieving the initiatives to drive the growth and development of Dubai’s maritime sector and reinforce the leading position of the emirate as a leading maritime destination in the region and around the world.

Christopher Mills
Head of the Dispute Resolution Group for the MENA Region and MENA Board Member of Clyde & Co LLP
Member of Board of Trustees of Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre

“The Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre was launched in response to the rapid growth of the maritime sector in Dubai which continues to move forward in establishing a strong presence among the world's most prominent maritime capitals. In spite of its youth, the Emirate has succeeded in playing a pivotal role in shaping the future of the global maritime industry, driven by a strategic location, an established economic system, a sophisticated infrastructure and an impressive legislative and legal structure that makes it competitive with the likes of leading international hubs such as London, Singapore, Oslo, and Hong Kong. Perhaps among the most distinguishing features of the new Centre are its uniqueness and modernity, which are essential to coping with rapid changes and effectively settling the growing number of maritime disputes arising from economic openness and the tremendous growth in international maritime trade. With Dubai's focus on harnessing the potential of the local maritime sector to further its economic diversification policy, the Centre will undoubtedly assume a crucial role in promoting regional and international investor confidence in the promising opportunities available in the Emirate which is gaining a reputation as a first-class international destination for marine industries of all kinds.”

Essam Bella
Managing Director, Clarksons
Member of Board of Trustees, Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre

“The launch of the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre (EMAC) is a reflection of the UAE's achievements and continuing commitment towards excellence, which ably positions the country to be at par with the world's most influential maritime centres. EMAC operates on methodologies aimed towards providing friendly and efficient solutions to maritime disputes--acting as a solid pillar for the efforts to strengthen legislation, regulations, standards and guidelines that govern the country's maritime segment. We completely trust the proactive role that will be played by the region’s first marine arbitration centre in terms of pursuing promising investment prospects and potential growth opportunities within the local maritime arena, especially across ports and vessels, which in turn, is considered as a vital source of the maritime industry in Dubai, UAE and the Middle East as a whole.”

Edward Newitt
Partner – Holman Fenwick Willan LLP, London
Member of Board of Trustees of Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre

“The launching of an initiative such as the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre is a dynamic and logical progression of enhanced services which the UAE can offer to maritime and international trade stakeholders in the region. The legislative framework which has been put in place, together with the support of Dubai Maritime City Authority, has been crucial realising the concept and enabling various international best practices to be incorporated into its structure. The maritime and trading communities have a strong historical importance and remain a vital ingredient in the regional economies, especially as new markets and trade corridors open up into Central Asia. It is exciting to be involved with such a project and the Centre, as a pioneer provider of maritime arbitration services in the Middle East, will provide a valuable alternative for commercial parties to resolve their disputes in a pragmatic and cost effective way.”

Richard Briggs
Executive Partner – Hadef & Partners
Member of Board of Trustees of Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre

"The Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre (EMAC) is a natural development of the UAE's progress as a hub for maritime excellence. It is part of a modern and integrated legal framework for the handling of disputes to the highest standards of transparency and reliability.

The Centre focuses on creating a mechanism for settling maritime and commercial disputes amicably in accordance with clear and cost efficient rules. It will become part of Dubai and the UAE's advanced maritime infrastructure, and will contribute to the ongoing development of both regional and international trade.

We intend to supplement and support the endeavours of the Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) to assist and progress the needs of the regional and international maritime industry, and very much hope that the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre will play a strong part in further developing and strengthening the legal foundations for strong and efficient trade."

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