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'International Construction Contracts in Saudi Arabia Demystifying Saudi Law and Shari'ah Principles in the Kingdom' by Dr Ali Almihdar and Joseph Chedrawe

‘International Construction Contracts in Saudi Arabia: Demystifying Saudi Law and Shari’ah Principles in the Kingdom’ by Dr Ali Almihdar

Dr Ali Almihdar has co-authored an article for International Construction Law Review on international construction contracts in the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia with Joseph Chedrawe of Covington & Burling.

It has been said that the laws applicable to disputes arising in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are a black box – complicated, inaccessible, hidden, mysterious. For many years, Saudi Arabia has been home to some of the world’s biggest and most important construction projects. Alongside these projects has come the inevitability of international arbitration over disputes arising from them. While the disputed issues may be generally described as typical in construction law – contractual notice, non-payment, scope variations, limitation of liability, and damages – the applicable law may be counter-intuitive to users who are less familiar with the laws of Saudi Arabia and the applicable Shari’ah principles. It, therefore, becomes important to demystify those laws and principles, particularly as applied to construction arbitration, with a view to enhanced clarity and predictability over construction contract disputes in the Kingdom.

Demystifying Saudi Law and Shari’ah Principles in the Kingdom

Disputes over construction projects represent a substantial proportion of international arbitration cases worldwide. When the law governing the dispute is familiar to the parties and the arbitral tribunal, the applicable legal principles may be considered as well established, with the main contest being over the disputed facts. However, what happens when the law is less familiar to the parties?

Dr Ali Almihdar has co-authored the article below alongside Joseph Chedrawe, a Partner at Covington & Burling in Dubai, for International Construction Law Review.

The full article is available to subscribers at

This article was first published in the International Construction Law Review Part 1 January 2023, citation: [2023] ICLR 4.

About the publication

International Construction Law Review summarises some of the most significant developments in construction law over the course of the year.

The scope of this commentary encompasses the common law jurisdictions of England and Wales, Hong Kong SAR, Singapore and the Middle East. 

Along with in-depth commentary on last year’s key judgments and case law developments, the review also provides a snapshot of issues to be aware of during 2023.

The review is relevant to legal practitioners and stakeholders in the construction, infrastructure and energy industries.

About Dr Ali Almihdar

Dr Ali Almihdar is a barrister dually qualified to practise in England and Wales, and in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He has a wide-ranging practice for which he splits his professional time between London and the Middle East. He acts as counsel, expert on foreign law and arbitrator mostly in multi-jurisdictional commercial and administrative matters.

His specialist area of expertise has included advising clients in negotiation of contracts, formation of Saudi Companies, foreign capital investment licences for temporary or continuing commercial activities in the Kingdom and general advice in Saudi, Gulf States and Yemeni commercial and corporate matters and disputes.

Dr Ali can work in either English or Arabic and is well positioned to represent clients in the English and Saudi courts and official circles and in any other jurisdiction where his dual qualifications will gain him rights of audience. He also holds an official Saudi Translation Licence: Arabic to English and English to Arabic issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Investment in KSA.

Find out more

To find out more about Dr Almihdar, please contact Sam Carter on +44 (0)203 989 6669 or Colin Bunyan on +44 (0)20 7427 4886 for a confidential discussion.

External Publications 14 Apr, 2023


Dr Ali Almihdar

Call: 2003

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