Symposium on Land Registration in the Arab World

Dead Sea, Jordan, 1-3 September 2005

Click picture for bigger format.
Participants of the symposium during an excursion to Petra Valley.

Under the slogan ‘Towards a Secure and Reliable Land Register’ a symposium on ‘Land Registration in the Arab World’, has been organised at the Marriot Jordan Valley Dead Sea Resort & Spa, Jordan, 1-3 September 2005. During this Symposium the challenges and ambitions related to the establishment of secured and reliable land registers in the Arab world have been discussed. The Symposium was organised by the Jordanese Department of Lands & Survey, in close collaboration with the Arab Union of Survey and the International Federation of Surveyors and was under the Patronage of the Deputy Prime Minister Esteemed Mr. Hisham At Tall.

In this electronic information era, the world witnesses huge transformation in almost all domains. This situation requires revision of registration systems and the development of cooperation and information and knowledge exchange. The level of exchange of information and experiences among Arab countries themselves and with other countries was not satisfactory. Anyhow, during the last few years this level has noticeably improved and some activities (seminars, meetings…etc) in land registration and cadastre took place in some of these countries.

Aim of the Symposium

This symposium aimed to portray land registration systems in the Arab countries, history, experiences, challenges and future ambitions as well as to share international experiences in this domain. The 24 presented papers, were categorized in four main topics:

  • Land Registration Systems
  • Modern Technologies
  • International Experiences, and
  • Future Ambitions.

The Presented Papers included overviews on Land Registration Systems and Land management and focussed on subjects as how to make the real estate land register work, cadastral surveying, valuation, archiving and managing the treasury land.

The Second Main Topic underlined the importance of Technology to achieve the tasks of the establishments working in the Land Registration not only in submitting services quickly but also in working toward improving and developing policies. The international experiences added a new vision concerning information systems that speed up and facilitate land registry procedures.

During the Symposium the land registration systems in the Arab world have been explored. 140 Experts in Land Registration from 23 Arabic and other countries participated. There are significant differences in the level of development of the land registrations in the region. A country like Jordan almost completed the computerisation of its cadastral and property data is developed tool for access by internet. Other countries are still completing there registrations and have all data accessible on paper. In many countries the existing legislations do not cope with technology. In many cases cadastral maps are seriously damaged, there is an urgent need for computerisation; this could be combined with cadastral data collection from remote sensing images. Different registrations, e.g. for rural lands and settlement area's could be combined in unified electronic systems systems with e-services. Accuracy is a point of attention; in many cases there are discrepancies between the physical situation in the field and the representation of this in the registrations. There is a preference to convert existing deed based registrations to title based registrations. International standards should be adopted to accelerate implementations of cadastral and land registry systems.


Recommendations were prepared by a committee; composed of Chair Elect of FIG Commission 7, Mr. Andras Ossko, Hungary, Counselor Farouq Awwad, Egypt, Mr. Khalil Tafakji, Palestine, Dr. Yaacoub Saade, Lebanon, Eng. Samir Abbadi, Jordan and Eng. Mouen Saygeh, Jordan.

The Conference called for intensifying the cooperation among the concerned Arab Bodies through the improvement of the means of communication, participation in scientific meetings, identifying the Arab Experts in Land Management Cadastral Registration and Surveying and publishing related information. It was proposed to co-operate in a project for the development of a unified Arabic Model for laws and Regulations organizing title register modalities in the Arab Countries.

The possibilities of reducing the costs of land- and properties registration and simplifying its procedures should be further studied. Also the unification of the different surveying and Registration Organisations in the same country should be object of study, as well as the automisation of the operations in data collection and maintenance and storage in a modern data base environment.

It was recommended to the Arab Union of Surveyors to extend the union relationships and to have attention to legislation in the domain of Cadastral Registration. Other disciplines could be involved here.

The Conference Expresses its great esteem of the outstanding experience of the Department of Lands and Survey in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and its achievements concerning the implementation of the title register and the development of surveying services in a remarkable way, making of it a model in this domain.

The Participants in the conference express their gratitude and appreciation to his Majesty King Abdullah the second, to the government of Jordan, and to the Department of Lands and Surveys, for their generous hospitality and for Patronising of the Conference, sending a thanking telegramme.

Eng. Samir Abbadi
FIG Commission 7