HOW TO PROMOTE MEDIATION OF CONSTRUCTION DISPUTES IN THE UAE
Yumna, Saem Aldaher
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The unique nature of each construction project makes it difficult to contain the dispute through one or two methods, that’s is due to different contributing factors such as time, cost, quality contract conditions, and the contractual risks associated with each contract and combined in a unique formula that differentiate the projects one from another. Therefore, it is not logical to believe that the root cause of construction disputes could be easily contained using a certain set of contracting principles or wording. Furthermore, the fact that the parties involved in the execution of construction contracts who are coming from different cultural background, personalities and a set of expectations also contribute to increasing the possibility of disputes and conflict in the construction industry. Even though when dispute avoidance techniques are utilized, in many circumstances disputes are inevitable, and thus there is a call to more effective dispute resolution methods that can be tailored to fit each projects need. In the last twenty years, development has been made to dispute resolution methods to come up with a set of recognized alternatives apart from litigation, and it is made available now to the contracting parties. Mediation is one of the most recognized alternative dispute resolution methods, which has developed significantly and been adopted by many countries with mature economics, such as Malaysia and the UK, etc. However, in the UAE, the process is not yet adopted as a method of alternative dispute resolution as the UAE experienced employers and contractors consider only arbitration and litigation to resolve disputes. This dissertation aims to investigate the various means to resolve disputes in the UAE construction industry in a way that helps to reach a win-win situation for all parties and eliminates the drawbacks of all other methods including speedy, lower cost, flexibility and non-adversarial that through which it retains a good business relationship between contractual parties. Therefore, as an answer to all these requirements, mediation does not only come to satisfy this need, but also to prevent disputes from further escalation and to reach a middle ground for all parties without the need to proceed to a lawsuits. However, despite this, the implementation of mediation does include some obstacles that require a combination of measures and precautions to ensure they are overcome which will be addressed later in this dissertation.
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