civil law


October 21, 2020



| Your comment matters, please click here to rate article!

The impact of COVID-19 has profoundly affected all business sectors around the world, including the construction industry.Building projects in numerous countries have ben effected by the pandemic episode due to multifarious reasons such as limited labour resource and disturbance in supply chains. Furthermore, the construction industry has been confronting delays in acquiring imported materials and segments, cost overwhelms and changes to scope of works, which in certain examples may even prevent the performance of construction contracts signed by the developers.

FIDIC (Federation Internationale des Ingenieurs Conseils) standard types of agreement are regularly utilized in most construction projects all over the world, including UAE. The country govern these contracts via federal laws. There has been an amendment in 1999 FIDIC rules by virtue of 2017 amendment. Nevertheless, corporate lawyers of Dubai have not experiences any significant changes in the contract except for a better clarity regarding the relationship between all parties involved in the contract.

The 2017 release of the FIDIC Rainbow Suite supplanted the expression “force majeure“ with “exceptional event“. Whereas, both the FIDIC rules define 'force majeure' or 'exceptional event' as an occasion or condition which:

  • is past a Party's control;
  • the Party couldn't sensibly given information against an event before going into the Contract;
  • having emerged, such Party couldn't sensibly have evaded or survived;
  • isn't generously attributed from the other Party.

The FIDIC Conditions of Contract set out a non-exhaustive list of events or conditions which might be classed as force majeure. Pandemics or scourges are not explicitly included, notwithstanding, COVID-19 is probably going to be classed as a force majeure or exceptional occasion since it seemingly still falls into the over four standards.

A contractor might have the option to claim relief under the Exceptional Event/Force Majeure arrangements as long as it can present that the government has set up measures or restrictions which had made it impossible for the contractor to fulfil his contractual obligations. It will be hard to contend that post removal of the restrictions imposed by the government, the works will be finished on time. Albeit, the government restrictions has been removed in most countries, the construction industry is still facing the wrath of the disease as preventing the spread of virus and simultaneously working in a construction site is a difficult situation to maintain.

In a nutshell, it is questionable that where a contractual worker has endured issues in acquiring resources (work) or materials then it won't be qualified as Force Majeure as the agreement has not become impossible even though it is not commercially benefitting. This circumstance would all the more effectively fall under a case for delay.

Furthermore, where Covid-19 is causing issues on the project site, the contractor is supposed to alleviate measures to have minimum impact on commercial benefits. Importantly, for any construction contract seeking relief under COVID-19 being a force majeure event should be able to indicate that Covid-19 made it impossible for the contractor to carry out the works.

However, the Contractor may not be able to seek relief on the grounds that the contractual works have become more troublesome and costly to complete and this may be considered a different ground for seek claim or relief, yet not under force majeure.

Related Links

Copyright © of this article is retained by the author and/or other copyright owners. We explicitly grant you permission to download a copy, without any alteration, of this article for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or any charge. This article can be utilized on your website or for marketing, however, we grant you permission to host this article on your website and no other rights. This content should not be altered in any way or sold commercially in any format without prior permission of the copyright holder. During reference of this article, full biographic details entailing the name of the author, his designation, the institute and the publishing date of the article shall be provided.


No comments found.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want to know more?
Then talk to us.

Client Testimonials

I owe the success of my case to Dr. Hassan's diligent approach. He remained focused, put me at ease and always went the extra mile. Dr. Hassan tirelessly put my case in the best possible light and I cannot thank him enough. I would highly recommend Dr. Hassan - I am grateful to him from the bottom of my heart.

Raphael Lauria
Manager, FME General Trading

Dr. Hassan Elhais is among the best legal consultants I have ever worked with. He has an amazing ability to reduce complex issues into a simple concept that non-legal people can understand. He consistently develops innovative litigation strategies that help us to achieve our ultimate legal goals.

Zhuo Liu

...the extraordinary effort that has been exerted by the staff, and we specially thank Dr. Hassan Mohsen Alhais. Wishing your continues success & excellence...

H.H. Sheikh Saeed Bin
Mohammed Hashir Al Maktoum

I believe everyone should recognize what a difference Dr. Hassan Elhais work has made to people's lives; and especially to our family's life, because we will remain forever grateful to each and every one of his team.

Luis Pozueco

Dr. Hassan Elhais never fears cases that involve exposure and he always gives me his honest assessment of our chances of success, which is invaluable to me.

Bassam Yamout
Director, JM Metal Trading LCC

He aided us not only in providing legal advice but also in all legal issues that required a long term strategic approach to achieve most favorable and optimum outcomes he provided us with high level of professional service.

Philippe Delbecq

Dr. Hassan Elhais is a responsible, reputable counsel who operates to high levels of service.

British Client

Dr Hassan Elhais is responsive, thorough and creative with his advice, and is a valued advisor and legal consultant.

Asma Mattar
Manager, Italian Style

Regardless of the complexity of the matter I know Dr. Hassan Elhais will consider not only legal strategy but also business practicalities in providing advice and litigation options.

Dr. Massimo Hakim
Chairman, Italian Style

I recommend Dr. Hassan Elhais to anyone who says 'I'm in legal trouble'. I was extremely satisfied with the high standard of his work. He has always been there when I have needed him and I refer all my clients, family and friends to him/his firm.

Manish Gupta
Marketing Manager, Express Digital System

Dr. Hassan Elhais was very professional and he listened to my needs. He was very prompt, efficient and always kept me informed. Dr. Hassan Elhais's service was excellent and I would definitely recommend him to friends and colleagues.

James Horsley
British Client

Select your Language:


Main Menu