16. Stay of legal proceedings
(1) A party to an arbitration agreement against whom legal proceedings in the Court are brought (whether by way of claim or counterclaim) in respect of a matter which is the subject of the arbitration agreement may (upon notice to the other parties to the proceedings) apply to the Court to stay the proceedings so far as they concern that matter.
(2) On an application being made under subsection (1), the Court shall grant a stay unless satisfied that the arbitration agreement is null and void, inoperative, or incapable of being performed.
(3) An application may:
(a) be made notwithstanding that the matter is to be referred to arbitration only after the exhaustion of other dispute resolution procedures; and
(b) not be made by a person before taking the appropriate procedural step (if any) to acknowledge the legal proceedings against him or after he has taken any step in those proceedings to answer the substantive claim.
(4) Where an application referred to in subsection (1) has been brought, arbitral proceedings may nevertheless be commenced or continued, and an award may be made, while the issue is pending before the Court.
(5) If the Court refuses to stay the legal proceedings, any provision that the award is a condition precedent to the bringing of legal proceedings in respect of any matter is of no effect in relation to those proceedings.
(6) This section 16 shall also apply where the arbitration is not seated in the Abu Dhabi Global Market, and where no seat has been designated or determined.