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Again! Chinese Court Recognizes a UAE Judgment

Sat, 07 Dec 2019
Categories: Insights
Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌


A court in Shanghai ruled in April 2019 that a judgment made by the United Arab Emirates shall be recognized. Prior to that, a court in Yinchuan has already recognized a UAE judgment (See Gao Xingda v. He Jianhua, (2018)沪01协外认15号 ((2018) Hu 01 Xie Wai Ren No. 15)).

We have not yet found the ruling (2018) Hu 01 Xie Wai Ren No. 15) made by the said Shanghai court, but learned about the case from the social media account of the First Intermediate People’s Court of Shanghai (hereinafter “Shanghai court”). [1]


I. Overview

In April 2019, the Shanghai court rendered a civil ruling to recognize the final judgment of the Fujairah Federal Court of Appeal of UAE.

Shanghai Court recognized the UAE judgment in accordance with the Agreement between the People’s Republic of China and the United Arab Emirates on Judicial Assistance in Civil and Commercial Matters (the Agreement). The Agreement entered into force on 12 April 2005. Paragraph 1, Article 17 of the Agreement provides that "Each Contracting Party shall, in accordance with its domestic laws, recognize and enforce rulings on civil, commercial and identity matters, as well as rulings on collateral civil matters in criminal cases made by the courts of the other Contracting Party".

II. Case brief

A certain Gao filed a lawsuit against a certain He in the Fujairah Federal Primary Court of UAE with respect to disputes arising from the equity transfer between the two parties. On 5 Sept. 2012, Gao signed an agreement with He, stipulating that He shall assign to Gao 45% equity in a gravel factory in Fujairah of UAE. Afterwards, Gao asserted that He failed to fulfill the agreement.

On 26 Dec. 2016, the Fujairah Federal Primary Court of UAE rendered a first instance judgment supporting Gao’s claim. He refused to accept the judgment and appealed.

On 25 Mar. 2018, the Fujairah Federal Court of Appeal of UAE rendered a final judgment ordering He to pay Gao CNY 31.5 million, covering principal, interest, court fees and attorney’s fees.

He failed to fulfill the obligation after the judgment came into effect.

Gao used “National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System” ( to track down He’s executable property, which is about 60% equity of a company located in Hongqiao, Shanghai. Therefore, in September 2018, Gao applied to the Shanghai court for recognition and enforcement of the said UAE judgment.

The Shanghai court held that:

1. Given that the executable property owned by He fell under the jurisdiction of the Shanghai court, it had jurisdiction over the case.

2. Gao had submitted certified copies of the civil judgments made by Fujairah Federal Primary Court and Court of Appeal of UAE, and the translations thereto to the Shanghai court, which satisfied the court’s requirements.

3. He entrusted an attorney to participate in the proceedings of the UAE case, made relevant defenses and exercised litigation rights.

4. Fujairah Federal Court of Appeal of UAE had rendered the final judgment which had already come into force.

5. In this case, there exists no refusal ground stipulated by relevant bilateral treaties between China and the UAE.

The Shanghai court therefore recognized the UAE judgment.

III. Our comments

This case further demonstrates that there is no obstacle to the recognition and enforcement of the UAE judgment in China. Since 2017, China has become the largest trading partner of the UAE. At present, there are 300 thousand Chinese citizens living and working in the UAE, and nearly 4,200 Chinese companies operating in the UAE. Mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments will definitely further promote economic exchanges between the two countries.

[1] 《案件速递 | 上海一中院裁定承认与执行阿联酋民商事判决案》


Cover Photo by Leonard von Bibra( on Unsplash


Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌

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