Dubai Land Department has launched a new database system allowing tenants to rent a property without handing over cheques or physical documentation.
The organisation claims the new service makes it the world’s first government entity to conduct all of its transactions through Bitcoin database technology blockchain.
The DLD system will use a blockchain database to record all real estate contracts, including lease registrations, and link them with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), the telecommunications system and various property related billing systems.
It will eventually be used to provide a database of all Dubai properties for customers and public and private sector partners.
The first phase will see the building of a personal tenant database using Emirates ID cards and residency visas to allow renters to make payments electronically without the need to write cheques, print papers or visit a government entity.
Later stages will see the technology used in banking, mortgages, utilities, maintenance and other areas.
“As the system simplifies people’s lives by using an integrated system, we are working directly with Smart Dubai to provide our customers with utmost satisfaction and avoid wasting their valuable time,” said HE Sultan Butti bin Mejren, director general of DLD.
“This is a major step toward cementing Dubai’s position as the world’s smartest city, expanding our online partnerships with all government entities and real estate parties that our customers need to complete their transactions.”
Wasl Asset Management is the first company to sign up to renew tenant lease contracts via blockchain. Tenants can access the system, enter their details, make payments through bank Emirates NBD and complete the process once the cheques are received and verified by the bank.
They will also be provided with an automatic Ejari number and DEWA details to renew electricity and water services without the need for documentation.
Other property development and management companies will soon also be able to include their units in the system.
Future phases will add features for developers and investors with the potential to offer properties for sale.
DLD hopes to complete the overall project 2019-2020.
Dubai is aiming to position itself as a leader in blockchain technology by becoming one of the earliest government adopters of the platform.
Last year, it announced plans to use blockchain for all government documents by 2020.
In March, the emirate also selected IBM and Consensys for a city-wide plan to implement the technology for use with private and public sector services.
Blockchain was originally designed as the distributed database list system behind bitcoin. It is intended to record every transaction using the currency that ever occurred in a tamper and revision proof record.
Other use cases are now being explored in financial technology and other areas.
These include UAE telecoms provider Du, which today unveiled a smart identity platform to manage guest traffic.
The platform informs employees when a guest has arrived, creating more efficient and secure operations at venues.