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Though Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency has launched eMart to stop duplication of property listings, a software technology expert claims duplicate listings within the UAE’s online real estate market are costing the industry at least Dh1 billion per year.

“Duplicate listings are a major headache in our industry, and evidence suggests that the Dh1 billion our team has calculated is likely a conservative figure,” Daniel Hart, CEO, Masterkey, said at the recent Real Estate Brokers programme in the Cityscape Global Conference.

The figure was calculated taking into consideration the amount of time, overheads and additional marketing expenses that companies incur when duplicate listings are published.

Figures were based on publicly available data published by the Dubai Land Department and conservative estimates obtained from a wide array of brokers regarding the amount of duplication involved.

“As the UAE moves towards a more regulated market, our multi listing system will bring agents together instead of competing against one another,” said Hart.

The Dubai Land Department has been working to stop the menace of 'ghost' listing since 2012 when it came out with Simsari, a multi listing services system. However, its latest avatar is eMart, an online portal designed for listing sale and rental units.

In September 2014, Emirates 24|7 reported Marwan bin Ghalita, CEO, Rera saying, “A lot of brokers came to us, asking not to implement the MLS. We are working the system now. All the listings on eMart have validated details of the properties and not like online portals where the agent’s fill in the details.”