An Overview of the New Saudi Arbitration Act: A Smooth Evolution but No Revolution

By Jalal El Ahdab, and Myriam Eid The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has always been considered as having an unparalleled legal system that consistently has to reconcile between two opposite necessities, religious on one side, with legally incorporated dogmas in a country conceived as the cradle of Islam1 and, on the other international economic needs in a country that has rapidly become the world's dominant oil producer and owner of the largest hydrocarbon reserves with unequalled foreign investments (of USD 378 billion only for the first quarter of 2012). 2 The enactment of a new arbitration act in such an environment proves both a hard but long awaited task.

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