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Enforcing Foreign Judgments in the UAE: The Uncertain Future of the DIFC Courts as a Conduit Jurisdiction

By Joseph Chedrawe

The uncertainty of enforcement of foreign court judgments in the United Arab Emirates (the UAE) directly before its ‘onshore’ courts has driven some judgment creditors to seek alternative recourse. One such alternative includes the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts, an ‘offshore’ judicial entity through which judgment creditors may more readily achieve enforcement and recognition in the ‘onshore’ courts of the UAE.

In this way, the DIFC Courts have come to be known as a ‘conduit jurisdiction’. Recent DIFC Court jurisprudence, which has opened the door to such a mechanism, has given rise to concerns about misuse and, in particular, circumventing the enforcement requirements of the Dubai courts. As a possible response to those concerns, the Ruler of Dubai established a judicial committee with the objective of resolving jurisdictional conflicts between the DIFC Courts and the Dubai courts. The early decisions of that judicial committee have not closed the door to the use of the DIFC Courts as a conduit jurisdiction, but it remains to be seen whether the Dubai courts will enforce foreign court judgments that have come via the DIFC Courts. Read the entire article here.

This information is provided by Vinson & Elkins LLP for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as legal advice.