Tourist take photos on a boat in the Dubai Marina, surrounded by high towers of hotels, banks and office buildings, in Dubai Image Credit: REUTERS

Dubai: You can soon buy a property in Dubai using crypto-currency. And with Sharia-compliance too.

MAG Lifestyle Development is allowing buyers in its projects to use “OneGram”, the Sharia-compliant crypto-currency. Said to be a first for the region, the move could also bring OneGram into the mainstream and get it the kind of exposure Bitcoins do.

Each OneGram Coin is backed by a gram of gold, which ensures that it remains “fully capitalized” and a stable digital currency. In compliance with Sharia, it is also zero interest and non-speculative as it is pegged to gold.

OneGram will go live in June next. Investors in MAG properties will purchase OneGram to the value of the property and receive a 5 per cent discount on the property price as a result.

The OneGram will then remit to MAG according to the payment plan, which is 35 per cent over six to nine months and 65 per cent on completion at the end of 2019.

“This is a mega announcement as it is our first real-world application for OneGram,” said Mohammad Ibraheem Khan, Co-Founder of OneGram.

"This shows the “market that we are here to stay by creating real-use cases for our token.”

Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies are currently “struggling to enter the mainstream in the Middle East, where their inherently speculative and risky character does not complement the local investment culture”.

MAG Lifestyle currently has eight projects on its hand.

Talal Moafaq Al Gaddah, CEO of MAG Lifestyle Development, commented: “At MAG, we exist to inspire our customers to expect more from us, and we are delivering on this promise by allowing them to benefit from the growing potential of crypto-currencies with OneGram.

"In Dubai’s forward-thinking real estate market, where embracing smart digital solutions is a key priority for driving sustainable growth in line with our leadership’s directives, we are proud to be standing apart from the pack by achieving another regional first.”


How OneGram is Sharia-compliant

The underlying asset behind OneGram is gold. Each OneGram coin is backed by one gram of gold. As a Sharia-compliant investment product, OneGram follows the three basics for trading in Islamic finance:  There is no interest mechanism in the issuance of OneGram, the profit or loss sharing is part of the rewards scheme, and there is minimal speculation as OneGram is an asset backed by physical gold.