Challenges of authentication and certification of e-awards in Dubai and before the Dubai International Financial Centre courts: the electronic signature

  • Omar Husain Qouteshat


This article evaluates whether an electronic signature is sufficient to fulfil the authentication requirement stated under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York, 1958) (NYC) article IV(1)(a) before the Dubai and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) courts. Dubai is one of the few countries with two jurisdictions in one country. The party who is seeking the enforcement of the award in Dubai may enforce it before the Dubai or the DIFC courts, so the purpose of the comparison is to discuss whether the winning party may benefit from the DIFC. To achieve the objective of the study, this paper evaluates the ability to exclusively rely on secured electronic signatures to fulfil the requirement stated under article IV(1)(a), and to generally consider the validity of the electronic signature in the Dubai and DIFC courts.

Index words: United Arab Emirates; Dubai International Financial Centre; electronic signature; digital signature; arbitration; e-commerce; enforcement; arbitration agreements; Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards; Federal Law 1/2006 on Electronic Transactions and Commerce