The Dubai government is conducting a major survey of buildings across the emirate, intended to help establish a more detailed method of calculating rental and service charge increases in the coming years.
In a statement on Sunday, the Dubai Land Department (DLD) said it was using advanced technology to overhaul outdated building classification processes.
Using the so-called Building Classification System (BCS), the DLD has already surveyed 20,000 plots of land and more than 120,000 apartment units, offices, retail, school and public amenities.
It is aiming to build up a complete database of information for every unit in Dubai, and create a star rating for each building, so that it is easier to assess rental increases in future.
The statement from DLD said: “The ultimate aim of the project is to ensure a smoother user experience for the Ejari system as well a more detailed calculation method for rental and service charge increases as mandated by the law.
“This has far-reaching benefits not only for governmental and regulatory bodies but also for tenants, landlords, investors and businesses.
Service charge and rental indices are currently set by Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera), but they vary across the emirate based on numerous factors such as the location of the building and whether it is freehold or leasehold.
The DLD announced in February that tenants facing arbitrary rent hikes by landlords can have their case heard by the rental disputes committee centre, but it has long been felt more could be done to increase transparency when it comes to rents and service charges.
Mohamad Khodr Al Dah, director of DLD’s Technical Affairs Department, said: “The department is constantly striving to improve its services and streamline customer procedures by introducing intelligent and sophisticated systems, combined with field work.
“We anticipate that these efforts will support the Dubai 2021 vision and ensure a smooth delivery of land classifications.”

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