RERA signs a memorandum of understanding with “Zand Digital Bank” to appoint it as the trustee of the Real Estate Development Escrow Account

RERA signs a memorandum of understanding with “Zand Digital Bank” to appoint it as the trustee of the Real Estate Development Escrow Account

10 January 2024, ZAWYA

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), the regulatory arm of Dubai Land Department (DLD), signed a memorandum of understanding with ‘Zand Digital Bank’ identifying Zand as an approved bank authorised by DLD to oversee real estate development escrow accounts and offer associated services.

Real estate escrow accounts are specialised bank accounts designated for real estate projects, serving as repositories for funds collected from off-plan investors or project financiers. The primary objective of the escrow account is to streamline the construction process for off-plan units, ultimately safeguarding the interests of investors and bolstering their trust in the real estate sector.

Proactive services and leading digital infrastructure

His Excellency Eng. Marwan bin Ghalita, CEO of the Real Estate Regulatory Agency at DLD, emphasised that this agreement with Zand Bank Digital aligns with Dubai Land Department’s ongoing efforts to enhance cooperation and effective partnerships with the private sector. The purpose is to regulate the emirate’s real estate sector by providing a leading digital infrastructure and an innovation incubator for real estate per the latest standards, as well as by enhancing a secure and reliable environment among investors through escrow accounts, in line with the emirate’s objectives to enable digital transformation and adopt the latest technologies.”

Michael Chan, CEO of Zand, said: “Zand is proud to have been entrusted with this responsibility, and we are committed to maintaining the highest level of integrity in managing the Real Estate Development Escrow Account. Moreover, our collaboration with RERA to incorporate blockchain technology and AI reflects our dedication to innovation and our continual pursuit of superior customer service.”

Commitment as the Trustee of the Real Estate Development Escrow Account

As per the agreement, the account custodian is responsible for establishing an independent escrow account for each project. These accounts are specifically designated to develop the real estate project. Additionally, separate accounts are allocated for each unit within the project to receive payments from buyers for those units. The Real Estate Regulatory Authority is responsible for providing the necessary data to the account custodian, which registered developers require to open and manage an escrow account.

To initiate the process of opening an escrow account, developers must submit the required documentation. Once the project is approved by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority, as represented by the Real Estate Development Escrow Accounts Department, the escrow account is opened by the account custodian based on the project approval certificate. Presently, this procedure is streamlined through an automated process. Developers are granted access to the system after they are approved as real estate developers registered in the developers’ registry. The submitted applications undergo a review process to ensure all registration requirements are met, and the project is approved. Following approval, developers are automatically authorised to open an escrow account and select the surveying company responsible for loading data related to the real estate units within the specific project.

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