Disputes between the main and sub-contractors involved in the Public Works Authority’s (Ashghal) prestigious projects make up majority of cases being heard by the Qatar International Centre for Arbitration (QICA).
Of the total 150 arbitrations that came up before the Centre, more than 40 percent are related to the disputes between the contractors of Ashghal projects. The Arbitration Centre is also hearing multi-million riyal cases, in which two major public sector companies are involved.
Talking to The Peninsula here yesterday, Dr Ahmed Mohamed Sheta, Secretary General, QICA said arbitration is increasingly becoming a popular alternative to litigation in Qatar. Over 150 arbitration cases, involving a sum of about QR1.3bn, have come up before the Qatar Arbitration Centre ever since it was launched in 2006. The QICA has already settled 89 cases through mediation and arbitration, he said.
Dr Sheta, who said many Qatari and foreign companies have approached the QICA to resolve the dispute through arbitration, however, was unwilling to disclose the name of the companies and nature of the cases. “We can’t reveal the details of the cases and the amount of money involved in the dispute in individual cases. For, acocrding to the agreement, we are supposed to maintain the confidentiality of the cases”, he said.
Dr Sheta denied that the dispute over the multi-billion riyal Salwa Highway road project is before the QICA. However, QICA is hearing many cases involved in the construction sector, he said. Though several cases are emerging from the energy sector, the contending parties prefer to go to the international arbitration centres outside Doha.
QICA has signed agreements with 27 international centres of arbitrations all over the world. The partner countries include the US, UK, Egypt, Lebanon
and Spain. The arbitration agreements at the QICA will have the approval of the arbitration centres of these partner countries.
Dr Sheta said arbitration culture is fast catching up in Qatar. Arbitration is an increasingly popular alternative to litigation in Qatar.
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