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Rabih M. Tabbara

Fax +971.4.447.5225

Rabih Tabbara is an international disputes lawyer who focuses his practice on all forms of dispute resolution with a particular focus on complex cross-border disputes. Mr. Tabbara also has significant experience throughout the Middle East advising major developers, consultants and contractors in the negotiation and drafting of construction contracts including contracts based on the FIDIC forms. Mr Tabbara also has extensive experience advising clients in their disputes in the oil and gas sector, especially in relation to feedstock supply agreements, crude oil pricing and refinery operations.

Mr. Tabbara regularly represents clients in arbitration proceedings at the International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration Center (ICC), the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC), and the Lebanese Arbitration Center of the Chamber of commerce and industry of Beirut. Mr. Tabbara also counsels companies on court litigation in the UAE, and throughout the GCC.

In addition to his dispute resolution work, Mr. Tabbara advises major engineering and project management firms on doing business in the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Tabbara practiced with a U.S. firm in Dubai. Mr. Tabbara is proficient in Arabic, English and French.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Society of Construction Law Gulf - active member since October 2008

Speaking Engagements

  • “Decennial Liability in the UAE: Antecedents and Application,” presentation given in Dubai at the Society of Construction Law (Gulf), 24th October 2011
  • Advising the owner of a refinery in Libya in connection with disputes with a crude oil supplier and breaches of the Feedstock Supply Agreement. The matter is currently in arbitration under the auspices of the ICC. The seat is in Paris, Libyan law applies.
  • Advising an Emirati conglomerate against its co-venturer with respect to disputes and breaches of a Shareholders Agreement. The dispute relates to the ownership and control of an oil refinery in Libya. The matter is currently in arbitration under the auspices of the ICC. The seat is in Paris, English law applies.
  • Counsel for a highly regarded Engineering Firm in a (DIAC) arbitration brought against it by a private developer in relation to claims arising out of the construction of a landmark residential tower in Dubai Marina. This dispute was resolved by mediation in London, the terms of which were favorable to the client.
  • Advised an owner operator in regard to delays and related claims arising in the construction of a new deep water drilling rig.
  • Advised a U.S. Engineering and Waste Management Company with regard to the set-up of a corporate vehicle in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi.
  • Advised several U.S. Architectural/Engineering Firms in relation to employment termination and residency matters.
  • Advised a U.S international firm that provides infrastructure engineering services with regard to claims bought against by the ministry of public works.
  • Advised a large Abu Dhabi based industrial conglomerate in regard to all aspects of contracts and Law in the UAE. Activities have included corporate set-up in Abu Dhabi, construction advice and negotiation regarding joint venture agreements within the UAE. Also, instigated and drafted an entire suite of bespoke pro-forma documents for use by the Client.
  • Advised a leading Dubai based Project Management Company in relation to a multi-million dollar dispute arising out of the termination of a fit-out and installation agreement for a hotel and a residential block.
  • Advised a major German contracting company in a dispute arising out of a MEP contract for the construction of a sports stadium in Dubai Sports City (DSC).
  • Advised a branch of a UK based sub-contractor involved in the "Eastern Mangroves” project in Abu Dhabi in relation to the drafting and negotiation of several construction agreements.
  • Represented clients in domestic and international Arbitration proceedings (institutional and ad hoc). This included:
    • Phase II of the extension of Tripoli port in Northern Lebanon. Represented CDR (Council for Development and Reconstruction) and (Office d'Exploitation du port de Tripoli) in the ICC Arbitration case brought against the two with respect to construction claims by the contractor.
    • Pine Hills Village Chibaniyeh-Lebanon (represented the owner of the project in the Arbitration case brought against the Contractor in relation to completion issues before the Beirut Chamber of Commerce and Industry).
    • Represented Arabian Real Estate Investment Company (ARICO) in the Arbitration proceedings relating to claims made by a leading local bank with respect to the payment of bank guarantees.
  • Advised a leading Lebanese holding company with respect to major hotel development projects in Najaf and Karbala, Republic of Iraq. Delivered legal opinions on the proposed legal structure and funding requirements.