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Dubai’s 131,358 buildings come under 5-star classification

November 13, 2021

Dubai Government has completed the star-rating of 131,358 existing buildings, ranking them from 1-star to 4-star and a 4 Plus-star in order to create a comprehensive database of all the assets and benchmarking them based on certain quality criteria.

The total number of buildings in Dubai reached 131,358 including 102,523 villas and 28,835 buildings in 2021, according to a latest report by Dubai Land Department, which completed a land survey and building classification survey that rates the assets based on certain criteria.

These properties are located in 150,000 plots of land, including 75,000 belonging to the freehold areas. These include, residential, commercial, industrial and mixed-use plots.

This will help investors, realtors, brokers and valuators to evaluate the price and rents of the property based on the qualities – asset quality, environmental sustainability, maintenance and associated facilities – that will help investors and buyers to assess the property better.

“This is a landmark achievement and reflects Dubai Government’s forward-looking vision. This will strengthen transparency and give more clarity on the asset quality for buyers to assess the property,” said a real estate analyst, requesting anonymity.

“This will make Dubai’s real estate market more attractive to foreign investors who can assess the quality and make a better assessment of price or rent of the premises before buying or renting of the property. It will take Dubai’s real estate market ahead of others and strengthen Dubai’s reputation as the most advances and most regulated real estate market in the world.

“In future, other countries will take a cue from Dubai and might implement in their countries. This will help institutional investors and Real Estate Investment Trusts to invest in Dubai’s property sector.”

The number of buildings under construction has reached 6,943 while the number of vacant plots across the emirate’s 4,114 square kilometre landmass reached 61,321 as at November 2021.

“We set out from clear goals to consolidate transparency in our real estate transactions and empower our vision with trust, happiness and innovation,” Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General of Dubai Land Department, said.

Dubai Land Department officials have prepared the final building rating report for each property and continued to update the database through site visits and landlord data – which could be obtained by the landlords.

The project was based on five criteria, including engineering and technical criteria, sustainability, documentation, health and safety, and administration and finance. Each criterion included a number of questions, totaling 64 questions.

Each building was then given the appropriate classification in terms of the number of stars it achieves as per the Dubai Land Department Standard (from 1 to 4 stars), in addition to the special ‘4 Plus’ category for buildings that observe the highest standards of sustainability. The classification is based on the facilities available and the quality of building maintenance, such as parking, lifts, air conditioning, and façade among others.

The project offers a wide range of proactive services and solutions to serve customers in the real estate sector across multiple categories, including investors, owners, tenants, real estate developers, government entities, and private sector companies.

Majid Saqr Al Marri, CEO of the Registration and Real Estate Services Sector at Dubai Land Department, commented, “We launched the BCS project and developed it for three years from 2015 to 2017. Its goal was to survey all lands beyond freehold areas (citizens’ areas), which amount to 75,000 plots.

“Phase two also witnessed development work on the project from 2018 – 2020, surveying all the lands in freehold areas across 75,000 land plots. This required tremendous efforts and included site visits to the properties and the surveying of 45,000 empty land plots using remote sensing in cooperation with our partners at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre to obtain satellite images.

“In 2021, we approved the final landlord report and building rating and continued to update the database through site visits and landlord data.”

Owners can obtain their classification reports, approve the classification, or request new reports in the event of building maintenance by downloading the Dubai REST app on the App Store or Google Play and accessing the BCS service.