Dubai Land Department (DLD) has completed an overhaul of its Building Classification System to cut down on paperwork and allow its surveyors to work more easily in the field.

DLD’s Technical Affairs Department said that the upgrade meant workers whose job it is to survey and classify buildings can now do so on site using tablet computers connected via cellular networks. It said measurements and photos taken on site can be directly entered into DLD’s own database via tablets connected through 4G networks. A 60-point questionnaire on buildings is then completed and a rating given to each building. Surveys completed in apartment buildings only cover common areas to respect privacy.

DLD said that to date it has surveyed more than 20,000 pieces of land and over 120,000 buildings, including apartments, offices, schools and retail buildings. The aim of the surveys is to produce a more accurate set of building measurements that will be used for calculating the level of rents and service charges that can be levied, and DLD said it could benefit government bodies, regulators, landlords, tenants and investors.

Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, the DLD’s director-general, said: “Our whole project team is extremely proud to see our technical developments and hard work bearing fruit.”

Dubai’s government was the first in the world to throw its support behind the call for one global set of standards for measuring properties. In September 2013, it said that it would adopt the International Property Management Standard (IPMS), which had been proposed by a number of international trade bodies including the UK’s Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

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