Dubai developer Emaar Group has announced plans to offer blockchain tokens for customers and partners by the end of this year, it announced on Monday.
The Emaar community token will allow users to access a referral and loyalty system across the entire company, a statement said.
Swiss-based Lykke AG has been appointed to create the technology build of Emaar’s community token based on the Ethereum blockchain and the ERC20 token framework.
The token will be transferable across the entire global Emaar ecosystem, including real estate, malls, hospitality, entertainment, facilities management and online shopping, the statement added.
This will be among the “first referral and loyalty tokens in the world giving access to an existing operational ecosystem of close to $10bn”, Emaar said.
An initial coin offering in Europe (ICO) will be considered within 12 months of the internal operational launch of the platform.
Emaar, which posted a 37 per cent rise in revenues in 2018 to reach $7bn, is the world’s largest property company outside China. Three Emaar units are listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM).
Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, said: “The Emaar community token marks a significant leap in our digital transformation journey.”
Richard Olsen, founder and CEO of Lykke, added: “We have developed cutting edge technology infrastructure with mass-market usability to support our core belief that all mobile and internet users should be able to participate in economic activity, regardless of size of contribution.”
The announcement comes even as the UAE seeks to boost the use of blockchain across all sectors.
The Dubai government is aiming to use blockchain for all applicable government documents by 2020.
In the wider UAE, the goal is for 50 per cent of government transactions to use blockchain by 2021.
Consultancy International Data Corporation (IDC) said in a report last year that Middle East and Africa blockchain spending was set to soar.
However, it stressed that it was still “early days” for the technology as use cases are explored.