UNLOCK met with Dina Ahmed Fares, Director of Digital Services, Ajman Digital government to talk about their latest blockchain initiative within the Emirate of Ajman.
“When we embarked on this project with Ajman Municipality and the Ajman Land and Real Estate Regulation Department, we were looking for the right use case,” Fares explains, “we wanted to find a problem that would be solved best using the blockchain.”
She adds that,”there is an issue in Ajman title deeds and site plans are issued from two separate entities. So while you may own a piece of land, you maybe have two different information on it, across two databases, especially since these two databases don’t talk together in real-time.”
Ajman Digital Government wants to resolve issues that individuals might face when dealing with purchasing or land, building permits, financial obligations, taxes etc.. The Ajman Digital government is placing the history of all land properties onto the IBM Fabric Hyperledger Blockchain.
Fares emphasizes that “before incorporating blockchain, an individual who might have purchased a land from someone through the land department would later find out that some payments at the Municipality were not fulfilled by the prior owner and now they were responsible for it. Today with blockchain, they have access to all this information on from multiple entities in one place. The beauty of this is that now each piece of land has full history on it including geo data, type of commercial, residential mortgaged or not and customers don’t have to go from one place to another to get title deeds or site plans. It is all in one place.”
Ajman chose this specific use case as it was a quick success story that could be showcased to further develop other blockchain implementations in the future.
As for the future, Fares states, “We wanted to start with a quick success story as a lot of blockchain use cases have failed because they sought to roll out the optimum solution from day one. Today we linked two entities Ajman Municipality and Land Department in the future we will be incorporating the private sector to include banks, the Electricity and water authority, and even economic department for properties commercial in nature.”
Ajman Digital government is using blockchain because of its security, and the integrity of the platform. Ajman is working with IBM because they are considered as trusted technology partner. Fares, “We have been working with IBM for many years and we trust them as a technology partner. We are using their blockchain as a service platform, and will be in full functionality with real data once IBM moves its cloud datacenters to Dubai and AbuDhabi in November this year.”
As a conclusion Fares commented, “One of the most difficult stages in blockchain implementations is bringing everyone on the chain and uploading cleaned data to the platform. We have data on properties that go back 40 years even before Emirates ID was implemented. Step by step we will continue to work towards achieving the UAE National 2021 Digitization strategy and enhance our offerings to meet with customers high expectations.”