This week the focus is on litigation developments in Dubai, where following a Dubai Judicial Tribunal Decision there is uncertainty over whether or not creditors can enforce arbitration awards issued outside Dubai and the UAE against Dubai-based debtors despite the UAE being a signatory to the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. This Convention is also known as the New York Convention and the UAE signed up to it in 2006. It means the UAE courts have to recognise and enforce international arbitration awards without re-examining the merits of individual awards. In its decision in Case 1/2017 handed down on 22 May, the Tribunal blocked the DIFC Courts from recognising and enforcing a London-based arbitration decision. The Tribunal gave priority to the parallel action being taken in the Dubai Centre for the Amicable Settlement of Disputes which is connected to the Dubai Courts.
In another judgment, the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts have issued an order prohibiting the owner of the Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai hotel from taking any further actions to prevent Viceroy Hotels and Resorts (Viceroy) from exercising their exclusive authority to manage and operate the hotel. Viceroy launched an action following the action by the hotel’s owner on 19 June, when it announced the purported takeover of the hotel by FIVE Hotels and Resorts. The owner’s actions breached the existing hotel management agreement. Viceroy is currently taking steps to ensure the hotel owner fully complies with the court order and the hotel management agreement. Amongst other things, Viceroy’s name, signs, and branding have to be reinstated at the hotel. Viceroy Hotels and Resorts signed a long-term hotel management agreement to operate the Palm Jumeirah hotel in 2013. The resort officially opened on 31 March 2017.