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The Role of Dubai Land Dept. in Making Real estate sector More Transparent than Ever

Since its inception, Dubai Land Department, or DLD has played an instrumental role in taking Dubai’s property market to new heights and making it the ‘apple of the eye’ of global investors. The incredible efforts laid by Dubai Land Department and its visionary leader His Excellency Sultan Butti Bin Mejren have yet again been recognized at the global level. 

According to the latest Global Real Estate Transparency Index (GRETI) -2022 by JLL, Dubai has been named as the most transparent city in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This achievement is significant as for the very first time; Dubai’s real estate sector has entered the prestigious ‘Transparent’ tier to become the only city in the MENA region. 

Where does Dubai Stands Globally?

Dubai is at the 31st spot in the world in the latest Global Real Estate Transparency Index (GRETI) -2022 closely followed by the UAEs capital, Abu Dhabi which is at 45th rank, and Saudi Arabia at the 49th rank. Both Abu Dhabi & Saudi Arabia are under the ‘semi-transparent’ tier. 

The list of 99 nations is led by the UK followed by the US and France. Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Germany, and New Zealand are among the top ten nations.

The Role Played by Dubai Land Dept. to Make Real estate Transparent

Dubai Land Department has played a crucial role in leading the real estate sector towards transparency. It has invested in a vast range of unconventional technologies and has launched several applications to provide real-time information to all real estate stakeholders. According to HE Sultan Butti bin Mejren – “the government’s ongoing efforts that are driving digital services and data provisions, new regulations and sustainability reporting have helped advance Dubai’s ranking in this year’s Global Real Estate Transparency Index, which is an important guide used for cross-border investment and corporate occupiers to inform their decision making,”.

Here are the top measures taken by DLD to make Dubai real estate transparent –

1. Publishing Transactional Data

One of the key measures taken by the Dubai Land Department to make the real estate operations transparent is by making more data available to potential investors to empower them in making sound decisions. A few years ago, the Land department launched a service to publish transactional data along with a service charge index which allows potential investors to analyze the maintenance charges before they make a final purchase decision. This initiative includes making all-important real estate information available on the website such as: sales transactions, gifts, mortgages, Ejari registrations, valuations, land, building and unit data, broker, developer, and projects data, along with unique identifiers for each transaction, such as property IDs and Ejari contract numbers.

2. ‘Green List’

In a transformational move, Dubai Land Department (DLD) launched its revolutionary ‘Green List’ initiative to promote active communication between the owners and the brokers and minimize the complaints of the owners pertaining to brokers contacting them without their content. The ‘Green list’ initiative has proved to be instrumental in making real estate operations transparent by ensuring only legitimate brokers can contact owners. Furthermore, the green list also plays an important role in minimizing direct marketing which is indeed a serious real estate violation and often results in a surge in property prices.

Green List overcomes many gaps and ambiguities involved in serving the tenants, owners, and brokers effectively. This initiative is in line with the Dubai Land Department’s strategic goals of ensuring utmost customer satisfaction through innovation and by introducing an advanced technology platform to regulate and lead the real estate sector towards sustainability. The green list also ensures the highest level of protection and integrity of consumer data. 

3. DubaiRest App

DubaiRest is one of the biggest initiatives of the Dubai Land Department to lead the real estate sector towards transparency. DubaiRest is the smart real estate platform for real estate services, through which all real estate services are performed by the real estate stakeholders such as: property owners, tenants, real estate brokers, developers, real estate valuators, and investors. 

DubaiRest is a game changer in allowing property owners to access their properties through a real estate wallet which provides them with real-time data on the current prices of their properties, rental return, and service charges. The app. also provides important information on the rental index and the sale index in different periods. Dubai REST also facilitates property owners and tenants in managing their leases such as: registration, renewal, and cancellation, and in submitting the rental disputes and following up on them.

4. e-NOCs

On April 20, 2021, Dubai Land Department (DLD) launched its one-of-its-kind Electronic No Objection Certificate (e-NOC) system to simplify the process of obtaining no-objection certificates digitally for the property owners. e-NOCs are only applicable for owners of the buildings where the budget of the current year is not approved or the current quarter of that building is not invoiced for any reason. e-NOCs facilitate the owners to directly proceed with the transfer after clearing all the service charges which are invoiced through Mollak. e-NOCs play a vital role in reducing the additional cost on the sellers as developers and strata management firms demand. Only ready properties managed by Owner association management companies and owners receiving service charge invoices from the Mollak system are eligible for e-NOC.

5. Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI)

To keep all real estate brokers and stakeholders aware of the happenings in the sector, Dubai Land Department launched continuing education program as the second phase of empowering brokers working in the Dubai real estate market through vocational training courses. The vast range of courses is designed and introduced by the Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI), the educational arm of the Dubai Land Department in collaboration with the Real Estate Licensing Department in the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA). The courses are developed on an academic basis and aim to improve the efficiency of all the real estate stakeholders in Dubai. One can register for the courses through the website – http://drei.gov.ae/default.aspx

6. Well-being Certificate

During the UAE Innovates 2021 week from February 21-27, 2021, Dubai Land Department (DLD), through its Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), launched the Well-being Certificate in cooperation with the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) in New York and Facility Management companies. The certificate targets various freehold buildings managed by common-area management companies licensed by RERA. The certificate is based on evaluating the target buildings on world-class health and safety standards, including policies and procedures that enhance the health and safety of residences and workplaces, to the extent to which maintenance procedures and facilities management are applied to reduce diseases, contribute to the adoption of emergency preparedness plans, increase awareness and the involvement of decision-makers, cleaning procedures and the management of air and water quality. Well-being Certificate played a key role in making the real estate operations transparent and safeguarding the investors from investing in unhealthy buildings.

Final Words

Dubai Land Department has always been an integral part of the monumental success of the real estate sector. This is the reason that city’s real estate is considered one of the most transparent in the Middle East within a very short span and has attracted the attention of global investors. Dubai’s property market has gained significantly in the transparency index which has been led by the vast number of new regulations around market lending practices, beneficial ownership tracking and sustainability reporting, digital services, and data provision. Some of them include – service charge management, automated valuations, and transactions databases through the Dubai REST platform. The gain in the Global Real Estate Transparency Index (GRETI) -2022 is also a big boost for the upcoming initiatives announced by the Dubai Government with private companies such as transaction-based sales indices and a building wellbeing certification.