Foreigners Beware: Exploring the Tension between Saudi Arabian and Western International Commercial Arbitration Practices: In re Aramco Services Co.

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Vol: 2011, Issue: 2

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Hampton, Whitney
commercial arbitration; international; saudi arabia; Dispute Resolution and Arbitration; Law
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Increasing globalization in the Middle East has resulted in greater commercial interaction between Saudi Arabia and the West. This, in turn, has led to a resurgence of international arbitration agreements between Saudi Arabian businesses and their Western counterparts. However, the strong religious undertones in Saudi Arabian law have given rise to tension with the West, and the United States, in particular. In re Aramco Services is but a tiny piece in a very large puzzle. While the opinion is short, it serves as an indication, or perhaps a reminder, of the larger implications at work. This note will discuss these implications and what they mean for parties to international arbitration agreements controlled by Saudi Arabian law.