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RICS and SCCA collaborate to increase the use of mediation for built environment disputes

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration (SCCA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to encourage the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution and in particular, mediation in the built environment sector which will encourage and enhance the growth, confidence and investment in the construction and real estate sectors of the Kingdom.

Through this MoU, RICS and SCCA will build and maintain a long-term co-operative relationship to encourage the exchange of professional knowledge and development regarding dispute resolution and conflict avoidance related to the built environment.

“All the local and international stakeholders participating in the Kingdom’s significant development in the build environment – including major infrastructure, commercial and housing projects – demand appropriate mechanisms to manage and rapidly resolve any conflicts that may arise,” noted SCCA CEO Dr. Hamed Merah.

“SCCA and our partners at RICS are working together to ensure that all businesses operating in the Kingdom and beyond have access across the nation to the very best processes, services and practitioners for the optimal, professional mediation and arbitration they require.” – Dr. Hamed Merah, CEO, SCCA.

As part of the partnership, both organizations will collaborate to promote local and international standards regarding the built environment (land, real estate, construction, and infrastructure) in relation to disputes. Using these relevant industry standards improves the transparency and stability of the market, contributing to the growth of more robust economies and enhanced confidence for investors.

“This MoU represents a great opportunity for RICS and SCCA to work together to drive growth and transparency in the Kingdom, further attracting local, regional and global investors. Construction and real estate are crucial sectors for Saudi Arabia, and the work SCCA does is now more important than ever in the COVID-19 and post COVID-19 recovery. We are delighted to be able to collaborate with them to provide a standardized, trusted, robust and economically beneficial approach to resolving disputes in the country. It is in the interests of all stakeholders and the wider KSA economy to be able to resolve disputes in a cost effective and timely manner that allows projects to be delivered on time and programme,” said Robert Jackson, RICS Managing Director EMEA.

As an independent and not-for-profit organization, SCCA has launched the new COVID-19 Emergency Mediation Program (EMP), a low-cost program to help parties resolve their disputes swiftly and amicably resulting in an enforceable bond (title). SCCA will now also add RICS’ Panel of Mediators to their Mediator Roster for EMP cases. RICS Panelists have undergone the RICS Mediation Training Programme in addition to a rigorous panel application process which includes an ethics module, reference checks and panel interview. They are also required to maintain an annual log of continuous professional development ensuring they are up to date with current dispute resolution techniques and trends.

Construction projects today are fast-paced, complex, and involve many parties, creating numerous flashpoints at which issues can arise. They must be identified and resolved in a manner that maintains relationships and facilitates growth of the market in the long-run.


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