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Driven to Lead by Our Commitment to Justice

Our Mission

The Dispute Resolution Authority (DRA) is a platform for delivering legal excellence in the Middle East and the gateway to a suite of services available to businesses operating in Dubai and beyond.

The divisions of the DRA work in partnership to provide businesses with unparalleled choice about how to resolve their commercial disputes, to develop legal talent and to protect individuals investing or living in Dubai.

Together, the divisions of the DRA are helping to support the Dubai Plan 2021, Expo 2020 & UAE Vision 2021 to make the UAE the Preferred Place to Live, Work & Visit.

Our Goals

The Dispute Resolution Authority administers justice and legal excellence within the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC). Established in 2014, it is the third body of the DIFC, alongside the DIFC Authority and the Dubai Financial Services Authority.

The DRA currently incorporates four divisions:

  • DIFC CourtsDubai’s established English-language, commercial common law judicial system

  • DIFC Arbitration Institute

  • DIFC Wills and Probate RegistryThe first Common Law, English language wills and probate service for non-Muslims in the Middle East

  • Academy of LawAn independent entity that provides quality legal education and support to the UAE legal community

The flexible structure of the DRA means new divisions and initiatives can be seamlessly added over time.

Legal Framework: The decree of establishing the DRA

Head of DRA

The Head of the Dispute Resolution Authority is Michael Hwang, SC.

Chief Justice Michael Hwang

Chief Justice Michael Hwang, SC

Michael Hwang SC is a graduate of Oxford University and a former law teacher in the University of Sydney and University of Singapore.

From 1972 to 1991 and again from 1993 to 2002, he was a partner in Allen & Gledhill, the largest law firm in Singapore and served as the Head of its Litigation and Arbitration Department for 10 years. Between those periods from 1991-1992 he served as a Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court of Singapore (a full time post equivalent to the office of an acting High Court Judge) for a fixed term contract which expired at the end of 1992. During his term, he dealt with a full caseload of civil litigation and 15 of his reasoned judgments are reported in the Singapore Law Reports. He returned to private practice at the beginning of 1993 and since 2003 has practised as an independent Barrister and Arbitrator.

In 1997, he was appointed as one of the first 12 Senior Counsel (SC) of the Supreme Court of Singapore (a status equivalent to that of Queen’s Counsel in England). In 1999, he was elected a Member of the American Law Institute and also served as a Visiting Professor to the National University of Singapore teaching advocacy and commercial arbitration. Between 2000 and 2003, he served as a Commissioner of the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) based in Geneva, a body set up under the Security Council to assess claims against Iraq arising from the first Gulf War.

His former appointments include being President of the Law Society of Singapore, a Vice Chairman of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), a Vice President of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA), and a member of the London Court of International Arbitration. He currently serves on the International Council of Arbitration for Sport, and is a trustee of the Dubai International Arbitration Centre as well as Singapore’s non-resident Ambassador to Switzerland. He was appointed as the Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts in June 2010, having served as Deputy Chief Justice since April 2005.

Contact Us

  • Contact Details

  • DRA

  • Office 301,
    Precinct Building 5,
    The Gate District,
    Dubai International Financial Centre,
    Dubai, UAE

  • Email: info@dra.ae
    Phone: 04-427 3322