Patrick Obeid
Patrick Obeid
Senior Associate

On 11 November 2022, the Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM) Arbitration Centre launched the world’s first “mediation in the metaverse” service. This service will revolutionize the delivery of mediation globally, immediately transforming the court-annexed mediation scheme conducted by ADGM courts into the next generation approach to mediation

ADGM’s unique metaverse service is the starting point for a sustainable next generation approach to international dispute resolution and is set to increase the reach and effectiveness of mediation as a preferred form of dispute resolution.

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution that parties may use to settle their disputes with the utmost confidentiality with an impartial third-party mediator. Mediation is a consensual process where the mediator decision is not imposed upon the parties. Early settlement of disputes through mediation helps preserve business relationships and frees up company resources, allowing organizations to focus on core business priorities.

The service, which is available to both local and international parties, provides a virtual space in which mediations can be conducted. It utilizes the latest Web3 technology, providing a more immersive experience and allowing parties access to 3D office space. This virtual space, which is accessible via desktop or mobile devices, will mimic the physical space within the ADGM Arbitration Centre and will inevitably result in a greater connection between the participants in mediation proceedings.

This service should not only reduce the costs of mediation by removing the need for parties to incur additional time and costs of travel (with the added benefit of also reducing parties’ carbon footprint in international dispute resolution) and physical room-hire costs, but also allow for mediations to take place more swiftly.

The new metaverse service aligns with the ADGM Arbitration Centre’s ultimate goals of increasing (a) the reach of mediation to parties who wish to explore a resolution of their dispute on their own terms and question its effectiveness without their physical presence, and (b) the acceptance of mediation as an invaluable means to resolve disputes.

Eliminating the need for travel to in-person meetings by providing digitally enabled solutions to resolve disputes on a global scale is a positive step forward.

This is an exciting and innovative development for dispute resolution in the ADGM, and the wider region, consistent with the ADGM’s stated mission to “promote economic and financial sector growth through a world-class innovative financial center”.

 ADGM Courts Launch Blockchain Technology

 ADGM Courts has announced the first-ever introduction of blockchain technology. The new blockchain-based system will digitally certify judgments and allow their availability and enforcement anywhere in the world.

This system, the first for any court in the world, will go online in the first quarter of 2023. The blockchain solution will result in substantial time and cost savings for parties in the enforcement of their commercial judgments. Secure, immutable judgments will be immediately available to parties and enforcing courts, via ADGM’s website, an API or directly on the blockchain for member courts. Parties will no longer need to wait for a certified copy of the judgment to start the process in the enforcing jurisdiction.

This is a major development for international trade and commerce. This trailblazing introduction of blockchain technology for commercial courts underscores ADGM and ADGM Courts’ reputation as leaders in the digitization of justice.

This article, together with any commentary, does not constitute legal advice. It is provided solely for information purposes on a complimentary basis, without consideration of any specific objectives, circumstances, or facts. It reflects then current views of the writer which may modify in time and based on differing objectives, circumstances, or facts. Access to this article does not form any attorney- client relationship.

Economic Liberalization in Kuwait: Welcome, Foreign Investors
Economic Liberalization in Kuwait: Welcome, Foreign Investors

The business and economic landscape of Kuwait just changed. With the ratification of the first law of 2024: Law Regarding the Amendment of Article 24 of the Commercial Law and Article 31 of the Public Tenders Law (1/2024) (the “Foreign Company Amendments Law”) on 21 January 2024, foreign companies now… Read more

New premium residencies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
New premium residencies in the Kingdom o...

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has introduced a series of groundbreaking premium residency options. Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Alkassabi, Chairman of the Premium Residency Center announced five distinctive categories—special talent, gifted, investor, entrepreneur, and real estate owner residencies. This strategic move, harmonizing with Vision 2030's objectives, positions Saudi Arabia as… Read more

The Egyptian Competition Authority Sharpens its Teeth in Light of Government Strategy
The Egyptian Competition Authority Sharp...

The Egyptian Competition Authority (the “ECA”) has traditionally been known for its aggressive stance towards historically tolerated anti- competitive acts. To live up to its slogan, “a stronger economy…for a better life”, it recently began shifting its focus to awareness-raising (in parallel with enforcement), a much-needed step in a market… Read more

Kuwait’s Economic Liberalization Measures
Kuwait’s Economic Liberalization Measu...

Recently, Kuwait has initiated some significant economic liberalization initiatives. Kuwait’s National Assembly enacted major reforms to the Commercial Law and Public Tenders Law, effectively removing the longstanding requirement for foreign companies to operate through local agents within the country. On July 16, 2023, the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee of… Read more

Introducing the 30-year Tax Relief Attracting Foreign Companies into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Introducing the 30-year Tax Relief Attra...

On 5 December 2023, the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (“MISA”), in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (“ZATCA”), officially announced a 30-year tax relief program as an incentive to attract foreign global companies to establish their regional headquarters (“RHQ”) in the… Read more

Key highlights of the executive regulations of the UAE consumer protection law
Key highlights of the executive regulati...

The Executive Regulations of Federal Law No. 15 of 2020 on Consumer Protection have recently been enacted through Federal Cabinet Resolution No. 66 of 2023 in the United Arab Emirates. These regulations, which took effect on 14 October 2023, offer crucial insights into the Consumer Protection Law (Federal Law No.… Read more