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26 ,27 ,28 February


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The Dubai Land Department, in partnership with the World Bank, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), the GLTN, the League of Arab States and the Arabian Union For Surveying will organize the Arab Land Conference and  will host the delegates from 26-28 February 2018.

The tremendous development of the land and real estate sector in Dubai is a true translation of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to work on drafting laws, policies and regulations and human resources development. Dubai has the world’s tenth-largest ranking and the first in terms of easy registration of property, surpassing many advanced economies, according to the World Bank’s Doing Business

The selection of Dubai City to organize the first Arab Land Conference in conjunction with the world’s leading real estate industry is not a Coincidence; it is due the result of Dubai’s high profile. It has become a unique model, not only in aspects related to Renaissance Real Estate. , But it is truly pioneering in various fields related to sustainable development, environmental conservation, the application of the highest standards of green buildings and maximizing the use of land in various sectors necessary for people’s lives.

  • SESSION 1 - High Level Opening Session

  • SESSION 2 - High Level Panel on access to land for real estate, sustainable business and investment

    International experiences show that promoting investment requires many enabling conditions, such as macroeconomic stability, infrastructure, and human resources among others. Land policy administration and management is one such condition. Land policy, administration, and management covers both private and state land. In many countries, effectively leveraging private land for investment purpose requires well-functioning land registration system, land-use planning that is responsive to urban expansion and the needs of the poorer segment of the society, and an equitable land and property tax which can raise revenues for local government also corrects market distortion and ensures property is used for high and best use. To effectively management state land (both allocated and unallocated land included) requires good inventory/state land database, transparent and effective allocation mechanisms which balances protection of state land for environment considerations with use of state properties for social and public infrastructure and some land could be used to promote investment. The system should also ensure recovery of unused or under-utilized land, and release for investment.
  • SESSION 3.A Technical Session: Women’s land and property rights

    Despite limited consolidated data, women in the Arab region are widely acknowledged to be lagging behind their access to land and property rights. This not only poses concerns regarding the full realization of their human rights and well-being, but also has a negative impact on the social economic development, food security, climate change and peace and stability in the whole region. Particular attention needs to be drawn to women affected by conflict, displacement and migration, whose - and whose children – survival, protection from physical violence and capacity to recover from the conflict are closely dependent on access to land and housing. The papers and presentations submitted on this topic can present challenges and successes on addressing women access to land and housing in the region, both in stable and conflict affected contexts. Considerations can be given to approaches that work with formal institutions and legal frameworks, but also to processes that are led by religious and customary / community structures.
  • SESSION 4.A Technical Session: Education, research and capacity development on land policy, management, and administration

    There is a shortfall in both the quality and quantity of capacity needed to develop and implement inclusive and gender-responsive land policies and practices in the Arab states. College and university education programmes on land related disciplines - such as planning, surveying, social disciplines, law, etc…. are still taught in a very narrow and conventional manner, instead of enabling students and professionals to have a broader and holistic view of land management and its linkages to other sectors of the society and the economy.
  • SESSION 4.B Technical Session: Access to land for sustainable business and investment

  • SESSION 4.C Technical Session: New technologies to support land and real estate registration systems, property valuation and taxation policies

  • Lunch Break

  • SESSION 3.B Technical Session: Protection of land and property rights of displaced people and refugees /1

    The Arab region is currently the region experiencing the highest rate of forced displacement. Housing, land and property (HLP) rights challenges are common and at the centre of the international and national agenda in the Arab region, both for IDPs and refugees. Restoring HLP rights of returning refugees, solving HLP disputes while starting the reconstruction process, protecting the HLP rights for displaced people and refugees, creating a HLP rights registration system are issues with which Arab states and the international community are grappling with. There can be no social reconciliation and sustainable peace without ensuring that people and communities can regain access to the land and houses from which they were forcibly evicted and where they can rebuild their lives. What mechanisms and institutions should be put in place to prevent and address such issues? What roles can IDPs and refugees can play in post-conflict reconstruction by rebuilding their own damaged or destroyed homes? What is the scope of establishing an efficient legal and institutional mechanism to mediate and resolve disputes and to ensure HLP right in the reconstruction process? How can countries emerging from war and destruction reconcile the rights of the displaced people and affected communities with pragmatic and effective reconstruction approaches for going forward? Those questions, among others can be answered in the papers and presentation submitted on this topic.
  • SESSION 3.C Technical Session: New technologies to support land and real estate registration systems, property valuation and taxation policies/1

    Land and property values in many Arab cities are growing. With some paper based and outdated land and real estate registration systems in some Arab countries, there is a need to ensure that land data are secured, updated, easily accessible and frequently analysed. What are the new technologies to support land and real estate registration systems while using smart devices, adequate land registration system, online solution, etc.? Further, land and property rights can be an important entry point to manage urban and rural development, encourage and sustain investment in infrastructure and services, and generate income for local and national administration. Land and property taxation can be a very effective mean to create better cities, make investments in infrastructure and services possible and redistribute wealth for the benefit to all. The innovative approaches to land and property taxation policies, reforms and instruments are needed in the Arab region. Papers and presentations can present experiences and lessons learnt from implementing some of such approaches in the region and can at the same time question the role of new technologies for achieving the development goals related to land.
  • Session 9, Day 3: THEMATIC ROUND TABLES

  • Session 10, MASTERCLASS 1: The role of rural local communities for responsible land governance; Organizers: International Land Coalition

    The proposed Masterclass looks at sustainable business and investment in the context of growing pressure on land and the role played in responsible land governance by rural local communities. Land is a limited resource and if not managed responsibly could lead to conflicts, therefore it is important, to proactively build peaceful societies starting by local land governance. Inclusiveness in land processes may foster the necessary consultation and participation dynamics which ensure the sustainability of land reform processes for both, political and technical aspects. The session show the benefits on the creation of inclusive policies on rangelands, such as the one promoted by the government of Jordan, and will present the experiences of Iran and Algeria where bottom-up processes to strengthen the role of local communities in decision-making on land governance have taken place for negotiated territorial agreements. Positive experiences will be provided on: decentralization in decision-making, equitable sharing of wealth generated from natural resources in areas where a community is present, state recognizing the role of local communities in safeguarding land and resources, state protecting the rights of local communities and opening permanent spaces of constructive interaction and consultation for the formulation and implementation of policies.
  • Lunch Break

  • Session 11, MASTERCLASS 3: Masterclass: Capacity Development Initiatives in Support to Good Land Governance and Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration; Organizers: University of East London, School of Geomatic and Institut Agronomique et Veterinaire Hassan

    There is a shortfall in both the quality and quantity of capacity needed to develop and implement inclusive and gender-responsive land policies and practices in the Arab states. College and university education programmes on land related disciplines - such as planning, surveying, social disciplines, law, etc. are still taught in a very narrow and conventional manner, instead of enabling students and professionals to have a broader and holistic view of land management and its linkages to other sectors of the society and the economy. This is combined with the scarcity of land-related training and capacity building materials in Arabic language. To achieve sustained, transformational change, there is the need of rethinking and innovating in the area of education, research and capacity development to scale up good practices from the region, develop new tools and approaches, strengthen land-related institutions and organizations, and to enhance the skills of key Arab actors in the land sector. The masterclass presents two relevant ongoing processes aiming at the development of capacities to support to Good Land Governance and Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration in a holistic and all-round manner. The first initiative to be presented is carried by the Global Land Tool Network under the leadership of the University of East London. The second initiative to be presented is the NELGA North Africa. A discussion will follow, leading to a set of recommendations on how to strengthen capacities in the region to address the emerging challenges in land governance and land administration.
  • Session 11,MASTERCLASS 4: Women, social media and their access to land; Organizers: LandPortal

    The session ‘Women, social media and their access to land’, intends to look at the important use of social media by women as an empowering tool for voice when it comes to concerns with regards to their land rights. Since the rise of the Arab Spring, over six years ago, social networks have been important and instrumental across the MENA region. According to many, the explosion of social media across the region expressed a clear desire for social protest and political change. In Tunisia, for example, the outcomes of social media were a success, with the shift in government reflected in its abrupt adoption of a free media. More recently, a social media campaign launched by Saudi women centered on the contentious issue of women’s right to drive was launched, with women filming themselves driving around to emphasize how important driving is to help them in both their personal and professional lives. Saudi women have taken their rightful place on social networks, launching various famous hashtags #women2drive, #Idrivemyself, #stopenslavingsaudiwomen and #togethertoendmaleguardianship. The session proposes to use women’s use of social media as a tool for social advancement in the MENA region, as a launching point for discussing how these same technologies can enable women’s involvement in online discussions on land rights in general, with a focus on their own land rights. How can we encourage women, in the Middle East and beyond, to use the tools available to them, including Twitter and Facebook, to launch successful campaigns and relay important messages about their tenure rights? What would be the possible barriers and outcomes?

What is a Masterclass?
A Masterclass is a two hour event on a specific topic related to the themes of the Arab Land Conference. A Masterclass will be led in terms of content and facilitation by one organisation or a small group of organisations – the submitting organisation(s) – but it will be hosted within the main conference premises on the third day of the conference (28th February) at no cost for the submitting organisation.

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Our conference will host a wealth of knowledgeable speakers with in depth insight into land governance. Though the conference is primarily focused on topics pertaining to Arab land and poverty, global experts in addition to regional speakers will be hosted to provide a greater scope of awareness to global trends and affairs. Speaker lineup TBA.

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