Non-judicial mediation for the settlement of civil and commercial disputes – UAE law

As a contribution from our side and for the sake of spreading knowledge and for the enhancement of the legal culture among all segments of society, as well as for the scientific interest and shedding light on the practical and mechanism aspect for those concerned from these segments, we, Bin Mes’har & Co. Advocates and Legal Consultants are pleased to introduce a summary of the Non-judicial mediation which has been regulated by Federal Decree Law No. (6) of 2021 in its third chapter:

The definition of non-judicial mediation:

 The non-judicial mediation is an optional means which has been regulated by the UAE legislature for concluding an amicable settlement for civil and commercial disputes which allows the reconciliation which arises between the parties of the legal relationship whether contractual or non-contractual using a neutral party (mediator) to resolve these disputes amicably.

Non-Judicial Mediation Agreement:

As the name suggests, this type of mediation occurs before parties resort to litigation. To mediate, the parties must submit their mediation agreement and an application to the mediation centre (Centre) stipulated in the Federal Decree Law No. (17) of 2016 or any other local law to resolve these disputes amicably before the filing of the lawsuit.

 The application must include the following:

– Approval of all involved parties to recourse to mediation (including an undertaking from the applicant to attend the mediation and to provide the mediator with the necessary information and documents related to the dispute)

– Subject matter of the dispute.

– Appointment of a Special Mediator, he should be one of those that are registered with the Centre.

– Agreed duration of the mediation, if it does not exceed three months from the date of the mediator’s acceptance of his mission and is renewable for a similar period and for one time only by a decision of the supervising judge based on an agreement concluded by the parties.

– The supervising judge has the same authority as the competent court in terms of estimating mediation expenses, the maximum limit of which is 5% of the value of the subject matter of the dispute, appointing the mediator, receiving the mediator’s reports, and approving the settlement agreement.

Mediation procedures:

– The mediator must notify parties of the mediation sessions by any legal means prescribed by the Law including through electronic means.  

– Parties can attend the mediation sessions in person or through their legal representatives under a special power of attorney and can engage advisors to attend sessions with them, and those who are not involved in the dispute do not attend the mediation session without the consent of all parties.

– In an adequate time before the first session, each party to the dispute must submit a summary of its claim or defence to the mediator accompanied by supporting documents and evidence. The parties are not required to exchange such memos and documents.


Mediation sessions:

During the mediation sessions, the mediator discusses and consults with the parties about the dispute, their requests, and defences, trying to bridge the points of view between them to reach an amicable solution. For this purpose, he may express his opinion if asked by the parties, evaluate the documents and evidence presented by them, and review legal principles. related to the dispute and others to facilitate the mediation process.

– The mediator has the right to organize private sessions with each party separately from the mediation parties, and he is not entitled to disclose to the other party any information that was discussed in that session, except with the approval of the party who authorized it.

– Mediation procedures are confidential, and it is not permissible for the Centre, mediator and parties to invoke them or the documents and information presented in them, or the agreements or concessions made in them by the parties, before any party whatsoever with the consent of all parties or related to a crime.

Termination of Mediation:

Mediation ends in any of the following cases: 

1- A settlement is reached.

2-The parties and the mediator agree to a termination

3- Any party chooses not to continue with the mediation

4- Judicial mediation is deemed ineffective for the dispute

5- A party is absent for two consecutive mediation sessions

6- The deadline for the mediation has lapsed.

In Case the settlement is failed:

If the mediator failed to settle the dispute for any reason within the period specified for him in the referral decision, he shall submit a report to the Centre indicating the failure of the settlement and the extent of the commitment of the parties and their agents to attend the specified sessions and shall give the parties a statement of what has been done in this regard.


Ratification of the settlement agreement: The mediator must submit the settlement agreement and a report to the Centre for ratification. Once ratified by the supervising judge, such ratification shall not be challenged except by a nullification case to be filed before the court. Following the ratification, the settlement agreement shall be stamped with the writ of execution and can accordingly be executed in the same way as a UAE court judgment.