Qatar amends its arbitration law to attract foreign investment

Qatar amends its arbitration law to attract foreign investment

The Qatari government has approved a new arbitration law adapted to the international standards on commercial law that are marked by the United Nations.

Qatar is one of the most important investment destinations in the Middle East, and for some years now it has been doing an important job of adapting its legislation to international standards. The last example is the promulgation of a new Law on Arbitration: Law No. 2 of 2017 of February 16, which will take effect in the next thirty days after its approval.

This law replaces Articles 190 and 210 of the Qatar Civil Code, which until now was the legal document governing arbitration proceedings in this Gulf country. The new standard follows the model established by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in 1985, amended in 2006, and becomes the first nation in the GCC group to implement it in its legislation.

The new features of this new Qatari law affect four aspects of the arbitration process such as the jurisdiction of the court, procedural rules, arbitrators or mediators and the issue of compensation.

The most important aspect is the recognition of the principle of competition and competition, which is applicable under German law and which has been applied since 1975 in the international arena. This principle empowers the arbitral tribunal to decide on its own jurisdiction or jurisdiction in relation to arbitration agreements.

Regarding the rules of arbitration, it establishes a normative framework for arbitrations that covers issues that are normally regulated by the rules of arbitration institutions. In this sense, it allows the different parties to adopt different types of procedures, under article 19 of the new law.

On the other hand, it guarantees general immunity to arbitrators or mediators, according to article 11, except in cases of bad faith, collusion and gross negligence; And establishes the duty of mediators in observance of the principles of impartiality and equality between the parties.

Finally, this law establishes that compensation is final and binding and, in addition, simplifies its process of recognition and enforcement, limiting the possibilities of another court to reject them and giving a period of one month to request an action for annulment. These awards are confidential and the rule stipulates an obligation to send a copy to the Department of Arbitral Affairs of the Qatari Ministry of Justice.

At Del Canto Chambers we are especialised in tax and trade law. From our offices in Doha we assess those businesses interested in settling up in the country. We can be contacted at

Del Canto Chambers’ Editorial Board

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