Ledger Insights recently published that UAE based property developer EMAAR plans to pilot tokenization of its real estate assets using the Hedera Hashgraph distributed ledger technology (DLT). According to Ledger Insights, the news was revealed by an executive of Swisscom Blockchain, which is working with EMAAR on the project. UNLOCK checked out Swisscom Blockchain website which did not have any news on the project. It also does not list HederaHashgraph among the DLT technologies it works with.
Ledger Insights states in its article that the Swisscom executive claims that Burj Khalifa is one of Emaar’s assets being tokenized. Neither HederaHashgraph website nor Emaar website have issued any news on this to date. UNLOCK spoke with Mr. Kamal Youssefi previously the Managing Partner of Financial Services at SwissCom Blockchain, who stated, “The news that has been mentioned is incorrect, SwissCom Blockchain is not currently working on any project with Emaar with regards to tokenization of real-estate assets. We also are not aware that HederaHashgraph is either.”
UNLOCK also spoke to Mohammed Naquib, who is HederaHashgrap ambassador in KSA. He also confirmed that HederaHashgraph is not working with Emaar on a tokenization project. As he stated, ” I have confirmed with Hedera Hashgraph and they are not working with Emaar on a tokenenization project.”
The news that came out was taken out of context from a blog post on HederaHashgraph website where Kamal spoke about the work they have done with HederaHashgraph, including a statement where he noted, ” We have explored the prospect of tokenizing real-estate assets on Hedera with some of the largest real estate devleopers in the Middle East.” He adds, ” this project will assist in democratizing real estate in that region while opening the door to new funding opportunities. We aim to start with a pilot to showcase the viability and feasibility in 2020 before moving into production.”
The Blog by Kamal also mentioned that leading enterprises from the region covering oil and gas as well as airlines have expressed interest in exploring Hedera capabilities through pilot programs.
As such Emaar was never mentioned either in the blog post nor in any other official news. As such it is too early to say if Emaar is the company in question.
In October 2019, Emaar had announced the launch of its utility token with JP Morgan, but no follow up news on the success of this launch was released. Previously Emaar had anounced that it was launching a security token offering in May of 2019 that never materialized.
Others have tried to enter the security token real estate market in the GCC and this includes names such as Liquefy who signed up with a consortium of Gulf families to tokenize realestate. In addition other home grown realestate tokenization entities such as Aqarchain have also tried to tokenize realestate in KSA. While UAE Arms&Mcregor have also announced their partnership with Bloom technologies to tokenize real-estate in the UAE. Even KSA company Avrio signed an agreement with ESPEO to tokenize real-estate in KSA IN 2019.
In conclusion the MENA region, particularly GCC is still awaiting a successful tokenization of real-estate project, and if the news ever comes true, Emaar could be the first to do so.