Dubai Land Department announces the closing of ‘First Arab Land Conference

Dubai Land Department (DLD) has concluded the ‘First Arab Land Conference’, which was hosted by the Emirate of Dubai from 26th to 28th February at the St. Regis - Al Habtoor City Hotel under the theme ‘Toward Sustainable Urban Development.’

  • The conference generated a number of comprehensive recommendations that benefit various sectors and segments of society
  • The World Bank honours the UAE for ranking 1st among Arab countries and 10th globally in its ‘Ease of Doing Business in Registering Property’ category
  • Secretary General of IPRA-CINDER presents DLD’s Director General a book on the ‘CINDER Congress’ Dubai edition
  • Bahrain Delegation: The conference presented us with an ideal opportunity to launch RERA in the Kingdom

The conference, organised in partnership with the World Bank, the Global Land Tool Network, UN-HABITAT, the League of Arab States and the Arab Surveying Union, was attended by more than 300 participants representing several regional and international organisations.

His Excellency Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General of DLD, commented: "We were pleased to welcome a large number of delegates and representatives from governments and international private organisations, reflecting the importance of the topics covered by the conference. Throughout the sessions on the first and second days, everyone participated enthusiastically in order to find successful solutions to the various challenges facing the land sector in the Arab world. This is clearly demonstrated by the list of recommendations generated by the conference, which will benefit various economic events and activities as well as all segments of society.”

The first session of the second day of the conference was held at 9am and discussed topics including  ‘The Relevance and Impact of Land-Related Conflicts’, ‘Addressing Housing, Land and Property rights in the Arab region for conflict prevention, mitigation and resolution’, ‘Addressing land rights for refugees and IDPs, key lessons from the field’ and ‘Improving the lives of refugees in the Arab region: how land issues come into play and should be better addressed’.

The second session of the conference was on ‘Women and Land’, discussing ‘Land rights for women, farmers and pastoralists in the Arab states: the perspective of civil society’ among other related topics. This was followed by three parallel panel discussions about ‘Land management and housing policy’, ‘Protection of land and property rights of displaced people and refugees’, and ‘Education, research and capacity development on land policy, management, and administration’. 

On the side-lines of the last day of the conference, the roundtable sessions were organised with a number of specialised and technical experts , which discussed a variety of topics including: ‘Land indicators in the sustainable development goals and their application in the Arab region’;  ‘Geospatial information management in support of the land agenda in Arab states’; ‘The role of rural local communities for responsible land governance’, ‘Land and Conflict in the Arab states: the role of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of the Tenure of Land (VGGT) and of conflict sensitive land tools in conflict prevention, peace building and reconstruction’; ‘Capacity Development Initiatives in Support of Good Land Governance and Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration’; and ‘Women, social media and their access to land’.

H.E. Salem Ahmad Almoosa, Chairman and General Manager of Falconcity of Wonders LLC, said: "We are pleased to have been part of the first ever Arab Land Conference — a pioneering event that proved to be both timely and strategic as it aimed to throw a spotlight on current trends, issues, policies and regulations within the real estate industry. Our presence not only allowed us to interact with some of the region's leading industry experts, but also gave us the opportunity to showcase some of our current projects. Rest assured that Falconcity of Wonders will continue to support noteworthy endeavours like this event that serve as strategic platforms to raise awareness, promote the transfer of knowledge, and exchange experiences to help improve the sustainability and long-term growth of the industry.” 

The conference concluded by honouring the UAE for ranking first among the Arab countries for speed of registering property and 10th globally according to the registering property category of the World Bank's ‘Doing Business 2018’ report. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was also honoured for the development of its business during the past year, as it now ranks in 72nd place globally, compared to 96th previously, according to same category of the World Bank report.

On the side-lines of the First Arab Land Conference, Nicolás Nogueroles Peiró, Secretary General of IPRA-CINDER, presented His Excellency Sultan Butti bin Mejren with a book on the CINDER congress 2016, which was hosted by the Emirate of Dubai. The book included all the data, information and recommendations that were generated by the conference, which recorded an unprecedented global presence.

In addition, the delegation of the Kingdom of Bahrain used the conference as a platform for launching its Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), with Naji Sabt, General Director of Survey and Board Member of RERA, announcing the launch of its work on Thursday. The delegation expressed its pride in this step, which will contribute to making the Kingdom one of the leading investment destinations in the region to support the vision of the country's leadership and government.

Comprehensive recommendations:

Under the title of ‘Dubai Declaration on Land Governance in the Arab States’, the participants of the First Arab Land Conference, representing governments, the private sector, civil society, academic professionals, international and regional organisations, and other relevant stakeholders, generated recommendations to ensure the main objectives of the conference. These included exchange knowledge; promote regional cooperation; and develop capacities and innovation in land governance and real estate reform to promote the social and economic development in the Arab region.

Other main recommendations from the conference include: acknowledge the importance of land within the global agenda; highlight the need to modernise land administration management and governance in the Arab States to ensure full protection of property rights, promote social and economic development, investment and diversification of the economy; facilitate improved service delivery; and ensure the sustainable use of land resources for current and future generations.

One of the recommendations identified the most pressing land-related challenges currently facing the Arab region, which include the need for full protection of property rights for all segments of the population; conflict over land use and land-related resources from different social and economic groups; lack of affordable access to land for women, youth, and marginalised communities; weak land tenure security for vulnerable urban and rural populations; insufficient and ineffective land administration processes and practices; and the need for improved capacities of regional and locals institutions to deal with land governance challenges in a holistic and integrated manner to ensure sustainable management and use of land and natural resources.

Finally, the participants called for continuing this effort by promoting and deepening knowledge sharing, joint research, and capacity building among Arab States to further develop land governance and real estate reform to benefit all people of the region.

Dubai Land Department (DLD) was found in May 1960 to establish the most prominent real estate sector in the Middle East and in the world.

DLD provides outstanding services to all its customers whilst developing the necessary legislation to propel the real estate sector in Dubai, organizing and promoting real estate investment, and spreading industry knowledge. DLD seeks regional and worldwide innovation in real estate with the aid of its active organizations that include: Real Estate Regulatory Agency, the regulatory arm, Real Estate Investment Management & Promotion Center, the investment arm, Dubai Real Estate Institute, the educational arm, and Rental Dispute Center, the judicial arm.

In order for Dubai Land Department to provide the best possible service in a rapid manner and to ensure the comfort and happiness of our customers, it has activated a new toll-free call centre number [8004488]. This can be used for all Dubai Land Department and Rental Disputes Center enquiries.