11th October 2017

In cooperation with DEWA, Smart Dubai, Emirates NBD, and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 11 October 2017: Wasl, Dubai Land Department (DLD), Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA), the Smart Dubai Office, Emirates NBD, and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) have jointly announced the launch of a new electronic services system for registering and renewing smart real estate leases using blockchain technology. The revolutionary service has been launched to provide faster and more secure customer services than ever before.

The new initiative is part of the ongoing efforts made by Wasl – one of Dubai's leading real estate groups – to make all of its customer services entirely electronic. Wasl is fast approaching its target of offering 100% electronic services and enabling its customers to make more transactions through e-gates on their mobile phones, without the need to visit any of Wasl’s offices.

To support this transformation and achieve the highest international standards in real estate services, Wasl coordinated with the Dubai Land Department who has played a key role in linking the blockchain network with the various real estate services that Wasl provides to its customers. It has also strengthened cooperation with its group of partners to develop its system based on the new technology.

The system allows customers to renew and register leases, and complete all other contract procedures in a smooth, secure and convenient way using the new technology through Wasl’s smart e-gateway.

His Excellency Hesham Abdullah Al Qassim, Vice Chairman of Emirates NBD and CEO of Wasl, commented: “We are delighted to be launching our new network of real estate services using blockchain technology. This project has given Wasl a unique advantage, making us the first real estate service provider in Dubai and indeed the world to adopt this revolutionary technology. We also praise the diligent efforts made by Emirates NBD to develop smart financial solutions such as issuing and signing smart cheques for rent, which is just one among many innovations that have been driven by the bank’s exceptionally talented technical team.”

Al Qassim added: “Wasl will continue to develop its customer services by employing state-of-the-art technology in order to ensure their comfort and satisfaction, and to support our leadership's drive to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world. All partners will work in harmony as part of one system to complete lease contracts, facilitating all customer transactions including smart registration in ‘Ejari’ and other support services provided by DEWA and DLD.”

The project has been proactively supported by Emirates NBD, which is the first private sector institution to launch a blockchain banking system. Through the new technology, the bank will provide leading financial solutions while also facilitating the registration and renewal of lease contracts. The system allows customers to complete their transactions electronically by issuing smart cheques to pay installments on rented properties. The process is fully completed after being approved by all of the blockchain technology partners.

His Excellency Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General of DLD, said: “The launch of the new blockchain network for Dubai real estate services represents a global milestone in this sector. In addition, the new technology will contribute to increasing transparency and information security, while also ensuring that customers can complete their transactions quicker and more conveniently than ever before. We are pleased to cooperate with all of our partners in launching this innovative project in Dubai.”

As a partner to the initiative, DEWA has provided technical support to allow its customers to access its services without the need to visit its centres. On this note, His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, commented: “DEWA works to achieve the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world, while also supporting the ‘Dubai Blockchain Strategy’ launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, to make significant progress in the efficiency of government transactions. DEWA’s platform at GITEX 2017 presents the first blockchain initiative from the Dubai Government for tenants, in cooperation with Wasl and other public and private institutions in Dubai. The system enables participants to automate processes including renewing and obtaining leases, obtaining ‘Ejari’ contracts, and ensuring the availability of electricity and water services. The ultimate result is enhanced customer satisfaction and happiness.”

Blockchain technology relies on Dubai ID’s to identify customer information from all parties involved in the system, via one gateway that facilitates real estate services for all customer

Her Excellency Dr. Aisha bint Butti bin Bishr, Director General of Smart Dubai Office, said: “This real estate system brings us closer to achieving the ultimate goal of the ‘Dubai Blockchain Strategy’ launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, which is to transform Dubai into the first government in the world to implement all its applicable transactions through this network by 2020. This consolidates our leadership in providing smart solutions that will make Dubai the happiest and smartest city on earth.”

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of the GDRFA, said: “GDRFA, in cooperation with Smart Dubai and its other partners, is supporting the ‘Dubai Blockchain Strategy’ announced by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum to make Dubai the first government in the world to implement all of its transactions through this futuristic digital network by 2020. Our overall aim is to enhance government services in Dubai and make it the smartest city in the world.”

Al Marri added: “Blockchain technology represents one of the challenges set by GDRFA’s future accelerators team. GDRFA has played an important and effective role in launching the first project to adopt this technology. It is responsible for providing information and feeding departments with the basic data and information through which people are identified, making the process simple, safe and smooth to contribute to improving customer happiness through the use of an integrated network.”

Blockchain technology relies on GDRFA to provide all of the necessary data for completing the procedures associated with registering and renewing lease contracts.