Welcome to the first issue of Constructive Comments – GCC edition.
This publication is intended to provide an update to those working in the GCC region on significant recent developments in the construction and engineering sector.
In this edition our Construction and Litigation teams look at:
- the process for and pitfalls of enforcement of arbitral awards in the region, focussing on the UAE, Qatar and Oman; and
- the enforceability of notice provisions and time bars in the UAE and Qatar.
In our recent news section, we provide an overview of:
- recent developments in the GCC construction market, including new penalties for failure to maintain requirements of integrity and impartiality in arbitration; and
- the impact of VAT legislation in the GCC and what you should be considering when drafting contracts which will be ongoing when the new legislation comes into force.
In addition, this issue's guest slot is provided by Addleshaw Goddard's corporate team in Oman and focuses on doing business in Iran.
If you have any queries or comments arising from the subjects covered in this issue or suggestions for subjects you would like to see covered in later issues, please contact Bevan Farmer, one of our GCC Construction/Litigation Partners.
Enforcement of Arbitral Awards: Processes and Pitfalls
Arbitration is the most popular formal dispute mechanism to resolve construction and engineering disputes. The benefits of arbitration when compared with litigation can include speed, cost, procedural flexibility, sector specific expertise, confidentiality, neutrality and finality. However, obtaining an arbitral award in your favour is seldom the end of the process in obtaining the relief to which you are entitled.
This article sets out some of the difficulties an Award Creditor may face when attempting to enforce an arbitral award in the GCC with particular focus on the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman.
New penalties for failure to maintain requirements of integrity and impartiality in arbitration
Concerns have been raised amongst the international arbitration community due to a recent Federal Decree issued in the UAE. As of 29 October 2016, by Federal Decree – Law No. 7 of 2016, the Penal Code (Federal Law No. 3 of 1987) was amended.
VAT Legislation in the GCC
VAT is on its way to the GCC. It is not clear when VAT will finally be introduced or the exact terms of how it is to be implemented but it is understood that there is a GCC-wide initiative to introduce VAT by 2019.
Doing business in Iran
In July 2015, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action ("JCPOA") was agreed by the United States of America ("US"), European Union ("EU"), United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China and Iran. It was implemented on 16 January 2016, after the International Atomic Energy Agency verified Iran had satisfied a number of obligations concerning nuclear disengagement. Given this recent development towards re-engagement with Iran, this article briefly identifies which sanctions have been lifted, discusses the common types of business entities through which a foreign company might do business in Iran (beyond the 'fly in, fly out' model) and explores some related legal and practical considerations.