The UAE construction sector is a continually developing market with complex transactions becoming increasingly prevalent. The evolution of the construction sector has highlighted the need for more robust construction contracts that deal with all the relevant risk issues for a project.

Arbitration has long been established as a method of dispute resolution in the Middle East. In recent times, with the enormous economic growth experienced in the region, and the UAE’s liberal approach to foreign investment, the provision for solving disputes by arbitration has become even more prominent in commercial contracts, aided in part by the fact that it is the favoured method of resolving disputes under many standard form construction contracts.

One of the most interesting aspects of working in different jurisdictions is seeing how different regions approach the same issues in different ways – both legally and commercially. An example of this in the context of PPP transactions, is the differing approach taken in the UK and the Middle East in respect the inclusion of delay liquidated damages regimes in Project Agreements.

News headlines in the UAE have recently proclaimed that “companies defaulting on salaries will soon be a thing of the past” (Gulf News), as the UAE government has launched its Wage Protection System (the “WPS”). Certainly the WPS is a significant step to protect the rights of workers in the UAE, and given the size and importance of the construction sector in the UAE, the WPS will also have a big impact on how employers in the UAE construction industry operate and pay employees. We look at the WPS, how it will operate and the impact the WPS will have on employers and employees across the UAE.