A Vision for the Future of Private International Law in the States of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
: Why is it Necessary for the GCC to Move Towards Private International Law Harmonisation?

  • Latifah Almeer

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Laws


The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), composed of the six States of the Gulf (United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sultanate of Oman, State of Qatar and State of Kuwait), is striving to enhance the Gulf’s regional integration in various political, security, economic and social fields. In this context, the GCC has taken some steps to develop a harmonised legal framework and to achieve integration based on the objectives of the GCC Charter. Many instruments were adopted but most of them were in the form of model non-binding laws and they were more focused on substantive law rather than private international law. Since the establishment of the GCC, in addition to several non-binding model laws that include some private international law provisions, only one private international law instrument was adopted, the GCC Agreement on the Enforcement of Rulings, Requests of Legal Assistance and Judicial Notifications. In parallel to the GCC’s joint efforts, some Member States, particularly, the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain, have taken significant initiatives by introducing their own innovative international jurisdictions with independent legal systems to attract foreign investments. These individual efforts are a great development in a region with a very different legal background. In light of these developments, this thesis explores the possible future of the private international law in the GCC; whether further GCC action is needed and, if so, how this can be achieved. Relying on doctrinal legal research methodology and drawing on the experience of the EU, it is argued the current private international law framework in the GCC is insufficient and does not cope with the growth and development in the region whether on the national or regional level, and therefore, the GCC has a role to play in improving the situation. The thesis concludes that a regional private international law harmonisation by using binding-law technique on a GCC level is feasible and desirable to contribute to the GCC objectives set in the GCC Charter, to face the increasing cross-border disputes resulting from GCC economic integration and to promote the operation of the international courts in the GCC States by coordinating between the international courts and the traditional courts.
Date of Award2021
Original languageEnglish
SponsorsKuwait University
SupervisorAude Fiorini (Supervisor) & Peter McEleavy (Supervisor)


  • Harmonisation
  • GCC
  • Private international law
  • Conflict of Laws
  • DIFC
  • BCDR
  • ADGM
  • Jurisdiction
  • Recognition and Enforcement
  • Choice of Law
  • EU Private International Law
  • Hague Conference on Private International Law

Cite this