100%: Dubai Will Put Entire Land Registry on a Blockchain

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The Dubai Land Department (DLD) has laid claim to “becoming the world’s first government entity to adopt Blockchain technology.”

In a first-of-its-kind in the global real estate sector, the Dubai Land Department – the government arm responsible for the registration and organization of real estate in the emirate – is now processing and implementing all transactions on a blockchain. The ultimate goal will see all Dubai properties recorded on a blockchain within 2-3 years.

An announcement by the Dubai government’s media office read:

DLD has created the blockchain system using a smart and secure database that records all real estate contracts, including lease registrations, and links them with the Dubai Electricity & water Authority (DEWA), the telecommunications system and various property related bills. Blockchain’s secure, electronic real estate platform incorporates personal tenant databases, including Emirates Identity Cards and the validity of residency visas, and allows tenants to make payments electronically without the need to write cheques or print any papers. The entire process can be completed electronically within a few minutes at any time and from anywhere in the world, removing the need to visit any government entity.

The blockchain is developed the Emirates Real Estate Solutions (ERES), the DLD’s technical arm, in collaboration with a number of other partners including the Emirates Identity Authority, DEWA, wasl Asset Management Group – one of Dubai’s largest real estate developers and Emirates NBD, the emirate’s largest bank.

The initiative is a part of the emirate’s wider ‘Dubai Blockchain Strategy’, which aims to record and process 100% of all documents and transactions on a blockchain by the year 2020. The sweeping blockchain mandate was announced by Hamdan bin Mohammed, the crown prince of Dubai, in October 2016.

‘Based on this initiative, DLD will be able to create a Blockchain database for all Dubai properties, which will be available to DLD’s customers as well as all of its government and private sector partners,’ the announcement added. ‘The technology will allow investors residing in Dubai and around the world to verify property data that is backed by timestamp signatures, enhancing the accuracy of data, the credibility of investment transactions, and the transparency and clarity of the market.’

DLD director general Butti bin Mejren added:

This initiative is still in a stage of infancy. In the near future, we will see many partners joining [the] Blockchain to improve their client services, including banking, mortgages, and utilities and maintenance operations…Our aim is to unite all real estate and department services on a single platform.

Dubai’s dogged drive in becoming the world’s first blockchain city is gathering pace with everything from its airport, to a citywide payments system and even an official state cryptocurrency powered by blockchain technology.

Elsewhere, Japan could also place its entire property registry on a blockchain by unifying all property and land registries across urban, farmland and forested areas – including some 230 million plots and 50 million buildings – by the year 2023. An urban trail in select cities will begin in summer 2018.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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