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Celine Abi Habib Kanakri, Partner

Céline Abi Habib Kanakri is a Partner and the Co-Head of the Regional Dispute Resolution Practice at BLK Partners, based in Dubai.

Céline specializes in international arbitration, with a focus on commercial, construction, and real estate matters, as well as alternative dispute resolution within the GCC. With over 19 years of experience, Céline brings a wealth of knowledge in domestic and international arbitration and serves as an arbitrator with esteemed institutions such as the ICC, the LCIA, and the DIAC. Her proficiency extends to both co-arbitrator and sole arbitrator roles, handling a diverse range of domestic and cross-border disputes in the UAE and the Middle East region.

Céline was honored by DIAC as the best sole arbitrator under the age of 40, a testament to her exceptional skills and dedication in the field.

Beyond her arbitration practice, Céline has actively contributed to the legal landscape in the UAE, participating in the drafting and review of multiple decrees, laws, and regulations. Additionally, she has played a pivotal role in the development of training materials for the CLPD program at the Dubai Legal Affairs Department and has contributed to earlier versions of the revised DIAC Rules.

Céline is affiliated with esteemed professional organizations, including the SCL, UAE International Chamber of Commerce, ICC Arab Arbitration Group and Arbitral Women. Her outstanding contributions have garnered recognition with rankings in prestigious publications such as the Asian Legal Business by Thomson Reuters, where she was named one of the MENA Super 50 2022 lawyers. She has also been consistently ranked in the Legal 500 for construction and dispute resolution. Moreover, Céline has been recognized in the Legal 500 Private Practice Arbitration Powerlist for the Middle East Region in 2022 and 2023, solidifying her reputation as a leading figure in the field of arbitration. Additionally, she has contributed to several publications and has been a speaker at numerous events addressing topics related to dispute resolution, international arbitration, construction, and real estate.

Céline has a BA from St. Joseph’s University (Beirut, Lebanon). She is a member of the Beirut Bar Association, and is fluent in Arabic, English and French.