Mediation Services in Saudi Arabia for Dispute Resolution

Reliable Mediation Services in Saudi Arabia for Dispute Resolution: Disputes are inevitable in any society, but how they are resolved can significantly impact relationships, businesses, and communities. In Saudi Arabia, a country with a rich cultural heritage and a rapidly evolving legal landscape, mediation services have emerged as a vital tool for resolving commercial, financial, property, shareholder and other disputes efficiently and amicably. In this article, we will explore the concept of mediation, its evolution, current usage, and why it is preferred as alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in KSA. 

In addition we have also discussed the importance of mediation  in Saudi Arabian society, the current state of mediation services in the country, and the benefits they offer for dispute resolution.

What is a Mediation Service to Resolve Conflict?

Mediation stands out as the most efficient method for resolving issues among individuals, companies, or other entities due to its comprehensive focus on all involved parties and their respective circumstances.

Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process in which a neutral third party, the mediator, facilitates communication and negotiation between parties in conflict to help them reach a mutually acceptable agreement. There are fundamental principles governing the mediation process, including confidentiality and without prejudice discussions. This entails that information shared during mediation sessions must be kept confidential and cannot be used against any party in future legal proceedings.

Unlike litigation or arbitration, mediation empowers disputing parties to maintain control over the outcome of their dispute while preserving their relationships and avoiding the costs and delays associated with formal legal proceedings.

Black’s Law Dictionary defines, “mediation is a method of non-binding dispute resolution involving a neutral third party who tries to help the disputing parties reach a mutually agreeable solution”.

The Role of Mediator in Dispute Resolution in KSA

Mediator in Dispute Resolution in KSA

In dispute resolution within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the mediator plays a pivotal role as a neutral facilitator. During the mediation process focus is kept on the interests of the conflicting parties rather than their contractual rights.

The mediator’s primary responsibility is to guide parties through constructive dialogue, fostering communication, and helping them reach mutually beneficial agreements. By maintaining impartiality and ensuring a fair process, the mediator empowers parties to explore creative solutions while respecting cultural and legal considerations. 

Additionally, the mediator upholds confidentiality, ensuring that discussions remain private and cannot be used against either party in subsequent proceedings. Ultimately, the mediator’s role is instrumental in promoting harmony, justice, and effective resolution of disputes in KSA.

What are Mediation Skills to Resolve Disputes Amicably?

In Saudi Arabia, cultivating effective mediation skills is essential for resolving disputes amicably. Here are key mediation skills crucial for navigating conflicts in the Kingdom include:

Emotional Intelligence Skills: The skills needed for mediation demands a strong foundation in emotional intelligence and experience in navigating challenging negotiations. When parties consider mediation, it indicates a deadlock has already emerged. Skillfully assisting them in unraveling this deadlock often entails addressing contentious issues with sensitivity and tact.

Active Listening Skills: Mediators must attentively listen to all parties involved, understanding their perspectives and concerns without judgment.

Empathy Skills: Demonstrating empathy helps mediators build rapport with disputing parties, fostering trust and cooperation throughout the mediation process.

Communication Skills: Clear and concise communication is vital for mediating effectively, ensuring that all parties understand each other’s viewpoints and the proposed solutions.

Neutrality: Mediators must remain impartial and unbiased, refraining from taking sides or showing favoritism toward any party involved in the dispute.

Problem-Solving Skills: Mediators should possess strong problem-solving skills to help parties identify underlying issues, explore creative solutions, and reach mutually acceptable agreements.

Cultural Sensitivity: Given Saudi Arabia’s diverse cultural landscape, mediators must be culturally sensitive and respectful of traditions and customs when facilitating dispute resolution sessions.

By applying these mediation skills, professional mediators can contribute to fostering harmony and promoting peaceful resolution of conflicts in Saudi Arabian society.

Mediation in Islamic Law (Shari’a)

Mediation in Islamic Law

Mediation services in Saudi Arabia or Arab World boasts a deep-rooted tradition in the region, with Islamic Law acknowledging the role of an impartial mediator through the concept of Al Wasata. Al Wasata involves one or more individuals intervening in a dispute, either upon the request of involved parties or, notably, of their own drive. Drawing from this cultural heritage and incorporating global best practices, the Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration (SCCA) has introduced its own set of Mediation Rules. 

Additionally, the SCCA is currently in the process of forming a pool of mediators, however membership in the SCCA panel is not compulsory for mediators to provide mediation services in Saudi Arabia.

Moreover, the Middle Eastern customs of sulh (settlement) and musalaha (reconciliation) represent native approaches to conflict resolution within the region.

KSA is a Signatory of United Nations Convention on Mediation 2019

Saudi Arabia is one of the original signatories of the Singapore Convention on Mediation, also known as the United Nations Convention of International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) representation at the signing ceremony in Singapore on 7 August 2019 was led by Mr. Bader Al-Haddab, the Undersecretary for Policies and Regulations at the Ministry of Commerce and Investment. The Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration (SCCA) was also part of a distinguished official delegation, underscoring KSA’s commitment to bolstering its alternative dispute resolution framework.

The primary aim of the Singapore Convention is to enhance the efficiency and efficacy of international trade by facilitating cross-border dispute resolution. It acknowledges the considerable advantages of mediation, including reducing the occurrences of disputes leading to the termination of commercial relationships. Importantly, it also acknowledges the substantial savings in the administration of justice by states that result from utilizing mediation.

Importance of Mediation in Saudi Arabia

Importance of Mediation in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabian culture, preserving harmony and avoiding confrontation are highly valued principles. Traditionally, disputes were resolved through informal methods such as tribal mediation or family intervention. However, as the country modernizes and its legal system evolves, there is a growing recognition of the need for formalized dispute resolution mechanisms that are efficient, fair, and compatible with Islamic principles (Shari’a).

Mediation aligns well with Islamic principles of justice, which emphasize reconciliation, forgiveness, and amicable resolution of conflicts. The Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad encourage believers to seek peaceful solutions to disputes and to prioritize reconciliation over litigation whenever possible. As such, mediation is seen as a natural fit for resolving conflicts in Saudi Arabian society.

Current State of Mediation Services in Saudi Arabia

In recent years, the Saudi Arabian government has taken significant steps to promote mediation as a preferred method of dispute resolution. The establishment of specialized mediation centers and the enactment of laws and regulations supporting mediation reflect the government’s commitment to enhancing access to justice and fostering a culture of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

One of the most notable developments in this regard is the creation of the Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration (SCCA) in 2016, which offers mediation services for commercial disputes. The SCCA provides a platform for parties to resolve their disputes quickly and efficiently, with the assistance of trained mediators who understand both the legal and cultural nuances of Saudi Arabian business practices.

In addition to commercial mediation, there are also mediation centers dedicated to resolving family disputes, labor disputes, and other civil matters. These centers operate under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice and adhere to established standards of professionalism, neutrality, and confidentiality.

Benefits of Mediation Services in Saudi Arabia

The growing popularity of mediation in Saudi Arabia can be attributed to the numerous benefits it offers for resolving disputes. Some of the key advantages of mediation services include:

1. Flexibility is a significant benefit of mediation. Usually, the mediation process progresses from information gathering and disclosure, which the mediator tightly manages. The mediator seeks explicit permission before conveying any sensitive information between the parties. This phase then transitions into bargaining and, potentially, reaching a settlement.

2. Preservation of Relationships: Unlike adversarial legal proceedings, which can strain relationships and escalate conflicts, mediation focuses on fostering open communication and finding common ground. By preserving relationships, mediation helps parties move forward constructively, whether in business dealings or family matters.

3. Cost-Effectiveness: Litigation can be prohibitively expensive, with legal fees, court costs, and other expenses quickly adding up. In contrast, mediation is often more cost-effective, as it typically requires fewer resources and can be resolved in a shorter time frame.

4. Timeliness: Court cases can drag on for months or even years, causing frustration and uncertainty for all parties involved. Mediation offers a faster alternative, allowing disputes to be resolved in a matter of days or weeks, depending on the complexity of the issues involved.

5. Flexibility: Mediation allows parties to tailor the resolution process to their specific needs and interests. Unlike court-imposed judgments, which may not fully address the underlying concerns of the parties, mediated agreements are crafted collaboratively and can be customized to meet the unique circumstances of each case.

6. Confidentiality: Confidentiality is a hallmark of the mediation process, ensuring that sensitive information shared during negotiations remains private and protected. This can encourage parties to be more forthcoming and creative in exploring potential solutions without fear of repercussions.

7. Empowerment: In mediation, parties retain control over the outcome of their dispute, rather than relinquishing decision-making authority to a judge or arbitrator. This sense of empowerment can lead to greater satisfaction with the resolution and a higher likelihood of compliance with the terms of the agreement.

Fahad Al Tamimi Mediation Team of Experts

The Dispute Resolution team at Fahad Al Tamimi Law Firm is well-equipped to offer guidance to clients regarding mediation procedures, serve as legal representatives during mediations, and act as mediators in commercial, financial, property, international, and other types of disputes arising in Saudi Arabia, Middle East region and beyond. 

Our mediators are committed to satisfying all parties involved in the dispute by engaging in negotiations and seeking innovative solutions for their dispute resolution. 

Our legal trained and experienced mediators prioritize preserving the interests and rights of the disputing parties while safeguarding their long-term relationships. With expertise in legal principles and a comprehensive understanding of relevant jurisprudence, they ensure thorough consideration of all legal aspects pertinent to the dispute.

Our mediation team, when serving as a mediator for commercial disputes between companies, we strive to facilitate reconciliation that comprehensively resolves all issues between the involved parties. Our approach adheres strictly to the provisions of Islamic Sharia and the applicable regulations within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

For more details, feel free to reach out at

FAQs on Mediation Services in Saudi Arabia 

Q. What does mediation do to resolve disputes?

Ans. Mediation resolves disputes by facilitating communication, encouraging negotiation, and assisting parties in reaching mutually acceptable agreements. It empowers parties to maintain control over the outcome while preserving relationships and minimizing costs and time.

Q. What are the best cases for mediation?

Ans. Mediation is most suitable for cases involving interpersonal conflicts, family disputes, workplace disagreements, civil matters, commercial disputes, and cases where parties seek a collaborative, confidential, and cost-effective resolution outside of court.

Q. What is the best type of mediation?

Ans. Facilitative mediation, where the mediator guides parties in communication and negotiation, encourages creative problem-solving, fosters mutual understanding, and empowers parties to reach their own mutually acceptable solutions, is often preferred.

Q. What are the skills of mediation?

Ans.Mediation skills include active listening, empathy, effective communication, neutrality, problem-solving, and cultural sensitivity. These skills enable mediators to facilitate constructive dialogue, foster trust, and guide parties toward mutually beneficial resolutions.