As many of us know, last year the city/state of Dubai of the United Arab Emirates launched a “Smart City” initiative called Smart Dubai. under the slogan “Simple, Secure, Fast”. The Smart Dubai initiative ultimate goal is to make Dubai the first government in the world to run all government transactions on Blockchain technology by the year 2020.

In fact, the World Economic Forum has hailed Dubai’s pioneering move to Blockchain and highlights Dubai as one of the most creative worldwide city to draw on big data to improve its citizens’ lives.

Riding on this initiative’s jetstream and somewhat under the radar screen of Dubai’s progressive and unprecedented initiative is the Dubai Land Department’s (“DLD”)objective of becoming the world’s first government entity to fully adopt blockchain technology.

In a recent conversation with my colleague, Mr. Uptal Nath, President of the Dubai Chapter of the Government Blockchain Association, said that the Dubai Land Department is in Phase I of its Blockchain adoption with land deeds now being recorded on Blockchain. He was quick to add that there is a Phase II where the DLD will record real estate agreements, lease or rental contracts along with various property-related bills such as tax and water. Eventually, the DLD initiative will allow citizens and investors to make electronic payments at any time and from anywhere in the world, eliminating the need to visit any government entity.

Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director-General of DLD last month proclaimed “In the near future, we will see many partners joining blockchain to improve their client services, including banking, mortgages, and utilities and maintenance operations.”

As the Leader of the Land Titling Working Group in the Government Blockchain Association, I am following and will be reporting on the Dubai Land Department’s Blockchain efforts and achievements up through the year 2020.


John Dean Markunas is a Blockchain advisor and consultant with a focus on the real estate industry.  John is the Leader of GBA’s Leader Land Titling Group which is exploring blockchain technologies to address land titling and insurance use cases around the world.  The group studies solutions deployed in other countries to identify opportunities to implement solutions globally.

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