Key highlights of Doha Arbitration Day 2024

Saad Hegazy, FCIArb, Vice-Chair of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Ciarb) Qatar branch recaps Doha Arbitration Day 2024. 

The Doha Arbitration Day 2024, inaugurated on April 25th, marked a significant gathering of over 500 local and international arbitration experts. The event was opened by Saad Hegazy, FCIArb, Vice-Chair of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Ciarb) Qatar branch, Dr. Nasser Al-Adba, Chair of Ciarb Qatar branch, and featured prominent figures including Prof. Dr. Mohamed Abdel Wahab, C.Arb, FCIArb, the Ciarb President-elect 2025 and Catherine Dixon, MCIArb, Ciarb’s CEO. Also in attendance was HE Justice Khalid Ali Al Obaidli, President of the Investment and Trade Court. This conference aimed to enhance the understanding and practice of arbitration across various sectors, with strong support from judiciary bodies and commercial entities. 

Key highlights included the acknowledgment of substantial advancements in arbitration within Qatar and the region, driven by legal reforms and an increasing adoption of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods. The conference showcased a robust lineup of discussions on current arbitration trends and the integration of new technologies in the field. 

Additionally, a notable development was the launch of the "Ciarb in Arabic" initiative, under the leadership of Saad Hegazy, aimed at broadening the institute's reach and inclusivity among Arabic-speaking professionals. This initiative is expected to provide significant opportunities for professional growth and development in arbitration practices across the Arabic-speaking world. 

The first panel of the Doha Arbitration Day 2024 titled "Judiciary & Arbitration: Bridging the Gap" brought together esteemed experts such as H.E. Justice Shamlan Al Sawalehi, Umar Azmeh, Dr. Muna Al-Marzouqi, Prof. Nader M. Ibrahim, and Dr. Emad Eddien Hussein FCIArb to discuss the relationship between judicial systems and arbitration processes. The panel highlighted various aspects of how the judiciary can support and potentially interfere with arbitration, focusing on ensuring the autonomy of arbitration while retaining the necessary judicial oversight. 

Key discussions included the role of the judiciary in facilitating arbitration by providing timely interventions that do not overstep into the domain of arbitration's independence. The panel emphasised the importance of judicial support in arbitration proceedings, particularly before and during arbitration, rather than solely after an award has been made. 

Additionally, the panel addressed the need for a cohesive approach among different judicial bodies within the same country to maintain consistency in arbitration practices. The dialogue underscored the necessity of ongoing education and interaction among judges to understand arbitration better, thereby supporting more effective and fair arbitration outcomes. 

The second panel of Doha Arbitration Day 2024, titled "Enhancing Arbitration through Institutional Roles," delved into the procedural and institutional mechanisms that enhance arbitration efficiency. Prominent figures including Khushboo Shahdadpuri, Robert Stephen, Dr. Mohamed Hafez, Khaled Elgarhe FCIArb, and Saad Hegazy FCIArb discussed the arbitration process facilitated by arbitral institutions. 

Key topics included the significance of setting a default seat of arbitration and the flexibility allowed in altering it to suit specific cases. The discussion underscored the importance of streamlined arbitrator appointments, where institutions often play a pivotal role, especially when parties fail to agree. Moreover, the panel highlighted expedited arbitration rules which cater to less complex cases, ensuring quicker resolution at reduced costs. 

Furthermore, the role of institutional advisory committees in overseeing arbitrator challenges and maintaining procedural integrity was examined. These committees ensure that arbitrations proceed fairly and efficiently, often providing unchallengeable and reasoned decisions on disputes about arbitrator impartiality. 

Overall, the panel provided deep insights into how institutional rules and procedures significantly contribute to the effectiveness and adaptability of arbitration processes. 

The third panel of the Doha Arbitration Day 2024, titled "Broadening Horizons: Contemporary Approaches in ADR," focused on exploring advanced techniques and broader applications of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Noteworthy speakers, including Robert Silwinski FCIArb, Michelle Nelson, Prof. Dr. Mohamed Sameh Amr, Rozana Al Tayyar FCIArb, Hazem Aly, and Prof. Hossam Gamal, discussed ADR's evolving role across various sectors. 

Significant themes included the integration of mediation within arbitration processes and the application of ADR in complex sectors like construction and technology. Dr. Hazem Aly highlighted amendments to ICC Arbitration Rules that encourage tribunals to facilitate settlements. This shift reflects a broader acceptance of proactive roles for arbitrators in settlement processes. 

Another key discussion, led by Prof. Hossam Gamal, addressed the need for legal frameworks to support ADR's confidentiality and effectiveness, especially when mediation follows the commencement of arbitration. The panel also emphasised the critical role of education and precise contract drafting in enhancing ADR's efficacy and adoption across industries. 

The fourth panel of the Doha Arbitration Day 2024, titled "Current Trends in Arbitration," featured prominent figures such as Dr. Tarek F. Riad, Magda Kofluk ACIArb, Dr. Mohamed Salem Abou El Farag, Aysha Mutaywea, and Ahmed Durrani. The session explored the evolving nature of arbitration agreements, the role of artificial intelligence and technology in arbitration, and the balance between innovation and traditional methods within the Middle East's legal landscape. 

Key discussions centred on the increasing sophistication of arbitration clauses, the impact of technology on arbitration processes, and the integration of AI to enhance efficiency and decision-making. The panellists debated the practical implications of these technologies, emphasising the need for maintaining equality and due process in arbitration proceedings. 

A particularly engaging topic was the use of AI and technology in ensuring fair proceedings, especially when there is a disparity in the resources and sophistication between disputing parties. The dialogue underscored the importance of adapting arbitration practices to modern demands while ensuring that these innovations do not compromise the fairness and integrity of the arbitration process. 

At the end, Saad Hegazy delivered closing remarks thanking everyone and announcing the next DArbD25 in April 2025. 


Saad Hegazy FCIArb is Vice-Chair Ciarb Qatar Branch and Partner at Resolve International. Saad is a seasoned arbitrator and CEDR-accredited mediator based in the GCC, boasting significant expertise as a testified delay and quantum expert. He is a member of the Academy of Experts and serves as an expert determinator. His academic qualifications include a BSc in Civil Engineering, an MSc in Strategic Project Management, and an LLM in Construction Law and International Arbitration. His extensive experience covers a wide array of projects, including airports, metros, infrastructure, industrial, oil and gas, LNG, water treatment, utilities, luxury, and high-rise buildings. Saad has been engaged under various arbitration rules such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC), Qatar International Center for Conciliation and Arbitration (QICCA), London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), and ad hoc, handling disputes worth over US$2 billion. He is adept in testifying and being cross-examined in both English and Arabic, with participation in more than 30 arbitration cases. Saad has held notable positions, including Past President of the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering (AACE) Qatar Branch, Current Vice-Chair of the Ciarb Qatar Branch, and former ICC YAF MENA regional representative. He is an Expert Witness, and a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS). Additionally, he is a CEDR Accredited Mediator and Arbitrator listed with ICC, Ciarb, DIAC, SCCA, QICCA, Brunei Darussalam Arbitration Center (BDAC), AAC, and W&W. Unique in his field, Saad is the only Arabic expert recommended by Who's Who Legal (WWL) in three guidelines, where he is celebrated for his active engagement and solid market reputation, being described as a "star on the rise."