Since the formation in the mid-nineteenth century of Al-Majlis Al-Urfi as an international dispute resolution institution consisting of Bahraini and non-Bahraini members, Bahraini law makers have shown great concern for securing protection for foreign investors and commercial entities by developing laws and institutions governing dispute resolution in the fields of international trade and investment. Given the recent rapid economic development of the markets in the Middle East region, further development of laws on trade and investment has become imperative.
Currently arbitration in Bahrain is governed by the Civil and Commercial Procedures Law and the International Commercial Arbitration Law, the latter of which is based upon the UNCITRAL Model Law. A new unified comprehensive law based on the UNCITRAL Model Law as amended in 2006 is expected to be promulgated soon. Furthermore, since Bahrain acceded to the New York Convention in 1988, Bahraini courts have enforced foreign arbitral awards. Bahrain is also party to other regional conventions in this respect. Despite these positive developments in Bahraini laws, there still exist some legislative and practical hindrances to arbitration and the enforcement of arbitral awards. This study introduces and analyzes the relevant laws governing arbitration in Bahrain, deals critically with the obstacles facing arbitration and suggests appropriate remedies to these hindrances.