The Emirate of Dubai has introduced a new executive decision known as Dubai Executive Council Decision No. 16 of 2022, which governs the rules concerning the appointment and procedures for arbitrators involved in fault-based divorces.

Brief Background:
In the UAE, family law matters are regulated primarily by the Federal Law No. 28 of 2005 (UAE Personal Status Law). The recent amendments to this law require parties to provide evidence if one of them seeks divorce due to harm, such as physical violence, verbal abuse, adultery, or financial neglect.

Appointment of Arbitrators by Spouses:
In fault-based divorce proceedings, both parties have the right to nominate one arbitrator each. These arbitrators must meet specific criteria, including being from one of the spouses’ families, having no conflict of interest, and being familiar with marital conditions.

Appointment of Arbitrators by a Judge:
If the spouses are unable to nominate arbitrators, the judge can appoint arbitrators from a predetermined list. The criteria for inclusion in this list are detailed, including being a Muslim male with full legal capacity, among other requirements.

Duties of the Arbitrators:
Arbitrators are mandated to follow relevant laws and regulations, maintain confidentiality, and explore reconciliation efforts before making any decisions regarding separation.

Reconciliation Efforts and Arbitration Proceedings:
Arbitrators must exhaust all avenues for reconciliation, including involving relatives. If reconciliation proves impossible, the arbitrators must submit a report to the judge outlining the causes of disagreement and harm between the parties.

Dismissal of Arbitrators:
A spouse can request the dismissal of an arbitrator if they believe the arbitrator may not perform their duties impartially, especially if there is a conflict of interest.

The Dubai Decision aims to streamline the arbitration process by specifying the qualifications and conditions for arbitrator appointments in family disputes. However, its effectiveness will depend on its implementation.