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The difference in how UAE and EW law controls Gharar (risk) and so Riba in a construction contract in the Emirate of Dubai, UAE.

Crawley, Shaun Edward


Shaun Edward Crawley


Derek P. Auchie


This research critically analyses and compares how the United Arab Emirates (UAE)1 Law and English and Welsh (EW) Law regulates obligations in a contract, for a thing that is to come into existence in the future, namely a construction contract. Uncertainty/speculation as to how an obligation is to be performed in UAE Law is termed gharar. The word that is synonymous with this terminology in EW Law is risk. The extent of gharar or risk (these terms are used on an interchangeable basis in this thesis) in an obligation plays a fundamental role in the profitability of a construction contract. Where losses become unacceptable, particularly for the Contractor, a dispute will arise. These circumstances may be in conflict with UAE Law, which obligates parties to a contract to ensure circulation of wealth by maintaining the anticipated profit to be made from a contract. This analysis also reviews how the level of gharar or risk can be increased by operation of two types of provision that are included in standard forms of construction contract such as the International Federation of Consulting Engineers, Geneva, Switzerland (FIDIC) Conditions of Contract for Construction for Building and Engineering Works Designed by the Employer 1st Ed. 1999 (FIDIC99). The first is a provision that releases the Employer from liability where the Contractor does not give timely notice of an Employers act of prevention. The second is a provision giving the Employer a discretion to act in an opportunistic manner, and exempt or limit his liability. It considers how FIDIC99 should be applied to control gharar or risk in a positive way. It also identifies similarities between how UAE Law controls gharar and that of the notion of parties reasonable expectations in contract Law (herein referred to as parties expectations), and how relational contracts operate to ensure parties achieve their expectations.


CRAWLEY, S.E. 2017. The difference in how UAE and EW law controls Gharar (risk) and so Riba in a construction contract in the Emirate of Dubai, UAE. Robert Gordon University, PhD thesis.

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Aug 17, 2017
Publicly Available Date Aug 17, 2017
Keywords Construction; Gharar; Risk; Certainty; Riba; Unjust enrichment; Implied terms; Exemption and discretionary clauses; Penalties; Forfeiture; FIDIC
Public URL
Award Date Feb 28, 2017


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