Dubai Land Department and UAE lender Mashreq bank unveiled a blockchain-based electronic mortgage system to speed up and strengthen the home loan registration process, as the emirate looks to digitalize its services and encourage greater investment in real estate.

“The development and launch of the new e-mortgage system come as part of our ongoing efforts to enhance automation applications and systems in our transactions to reduce paper transactions and the number of visits,” said DLD director general Sultan Butti bin Mejren.

Under the license agreement, Mashreq mortgage holders will be linked up with DLD’s new electronic mortgage registration system following a property sale to ensure all mortgages are properly registered and recorded via the new platform. Mortgages can also be modified through the system, and liquidations and payment defaults logged.

The e-mortgage system is the latest initiative by Dubai government’s real estate department to adopt blockchain, the digital ledger technology, in its administrative processes. Last year, it launched the blockchain-based Real Estate Self Transaction, or “Rest”, system, intended to enable “the complete digital management of real estate transactions, eliminating paper documents and reducing brokerage procedures”, DLD said at the time.

The initiatives are part of the Dubai 10x initiative, which aims to place government entities 10 years ahead of the rest of the world in all sectors, including real estate. It is a key part of the UAE’s plans to advance its digital economy and further diversify from oil.

Following the deal with Mashreq, DLD will seek new bank partners for its e-mortgage system, it said.

“Applying the e-mortgage system requires synergy with leading UAE banks … to spread its benefits to the largest number of investors,” said Majid Saqer Al Marri, chief executive of registration and real estate services at DLD.

“We will continue to seek the best partners to ensure the comfort and happiness of our customers, as well as develop the system and support it with the latest technologies to keep pace with developments in real estate services.”

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