In April 2018, Thomson Reuters Projects (TRP) and consultancy firm Cavendish Maxwell hosted a jointly-organised webinar on blockchain and its potential applications for the construction and real estate industries in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly focusing on the United Arab Emirates. The webinar brought together local and regional industry experts to discuss the latest developments and potential benefits of blockchain and smart contracts, plus the challenges of applying this new technology to the sector.
Guest speakers included Saqr Ereiqat, Blockchain Evangelist at technology giant IBM; Riad Bsaibes, President and Chief Executive of the Amana Investments, the holding company of the Amana Contracting and an active investor in contech companies; Robert Flaws, Legal Director of law firm CMS’s Dubai office; and Tanvir Shah, Managing Director at The Partnerships Consulting, a Dubai-based advisory firm.
Participants agreed that the use of blockchain and smart contracts in construction and real estate was likely to increase over the next few years, a phenomenon that will be more pronounced in Dubai thanks to the government’s Smart Dubai initiative.
However, lawmakers must introduce new legislation to govern how disputes on blockchain and smart contracts will be handled before the technology can go mainstream, and it is likely to face some resistance among professionals in both the construction and legal industries.
For further details about what was discussed during the webinar, you can download the whitepaper.