Submitting a Pearl Rating Application

All relevant new projects must achieve a minimum 1 Pearl rating to receive approval from the planning and permitting authorities. Government funded projects must achieve a minimum 2 Pearl rating.

Registration of projects for Pearl Ratings with UPC is not required at present. A formal registration process will be in place in the future.

The submission requirements for the design and construction stages of the Pearl Rating System (PRS) are outlined in each credit. The Design Rating application is linked with the building permitting process at the relevant Municipalities and must be made at the end of the construction documentation stage. The Construction Rating application must be made on completion of construction.

Any building and villa project located within a proposed Pearl rated community must demonstrate an integrated approach between the PCRS application and the PBRS/PVRS application(s). The PCRS application must be submitted and approved before NOPC letters can be issued for the individual project villas and/or buildings.


There will be no public disclosure of information provided as part of the Submission Requirements. Information provided will remain confidential, except as required for identification of the project and its key participants for the purposes of providing Certification.

Correspondence Protocol

Estidama Correspondence

All Estidama correspondence must be addressed to the following based on the Pearl Rating targetted and as per the cover letter requirements section below:

1 to 2 Pearl Rating Submissions* (post 2-Jan-2017) For PBRS & PVRS

UPC Estidama Representative

Abu Dhabi Government Unified Hub for Building Permits

Building previously occupied by the Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA)

3 to 5 Pearl Rating Submissions* For PBRS & PVRS + All PCRS Submissions*

Mohamed Al Khadar

Executive Director

Urban Development & Estidama Sector

Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council

7th Floor Al Mamoura B Building


* Submissions include Design Rating Applications, Construction Audit Reports, Construction Rating Applications, Credit Clarification Requests (CCRs) and Early Works requests.

All correspondence submitted must be signed by the appointed PQP for the project or the company authorized signatory.


Cover Letter Requirements

All Pearl Rating System (PRS) application cover letters must include the following summary table AND attach a signed copy of the Estidama Completeness Checklist (applicable to Design Rating submissions).

All fields highlighted in yellow must be UPDATED for resubmission:

Project Name
Completeness Checklist Attached? (Yes/No)

For Design Rating applications, the PQP must attach the signed Estidama Completeness Checklist to cover letter (CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD).

Provide the scanned copy and the excel version of this checklist within the IDP-R1 credit folder.

Plot Number Obtained from Municipal Affection Plan
Sector Obtained from Municipal Affection Plan
Municipality ADM/ AAM / WRM
Municipality Project ID Where available
Pearl Rating System e.g. PBRS, PCRS or PVRS
Pearl Rating Stage Design or Construction
Pearl Rating Targeted e.g. 1 Pearl, 2 Pearls etc.
Submission Type

e.g. First Submission or Re-submission #1, #2 etc.


For Re-submissions, please attach EITHER:

1. The latest issued UPC comment sheet with the completed PQP responses to the UPC comments


2. The Notiice of Incomplete Submission Email (for incomplete submissions)

RE-R1 Compliance Pathway
Prescriptive or Performance (N/A for PCRS)
GFA (m2) GFA of the building/villa typology submitted. See definition below.
Estidama Project ID
- Applicable for re-submissions.
- Click here for guidance on where to find the project ID.
- For resubmissions, please attach the latest issued UPC review sheet completed with PQP responses to the cover letter.
Urban Development ID
If applicable
Comments Where applicable, please:
1. List any previously approved similar typologies with their corresponding Project ID numbers.
2. Note if the project was previously deemed incomplete.
Owner/Owner's Representative Contact Details (provide contact details of the person responsible for receiving all official correspondence for this project)
Job Title
Email Address
Phone Number

GFA: The sum of the floor areas of the spaces within a building, including basements, mezzanines and intermediate floors, and penthouses with an internal height of 2.3m or greater. It is measured from the exterior faces of the exterior walls or from the centreline of walls separating buildings. It excludes covered walkways, porches, pipe trenches, exterior terraces or steps, chimneys, roof overhangs and similar features.


Please note all credit related commitment/undertaking letters are to be included within the relevant credit folder of the Pearl Rating System submission. The UPC does not require the hard copies of these letters to be submitted.

Design Rating Application

From 1 June 2011, all PRS submittals must be done by a certified PQP in the applicable rating system.

All applicable Community, Building and Villa projects must submit the Design Rating Application to UPC following the instructions below:

From 1 June 2011, all PRS submittals must be done by a certified PQP in the applicable rating system.

1. Download the submittal template and the accompanied submittal guide for either a Community, Building or Villa project.

2.Download the latest versions of ALL calculators applicable to the project from the Estidama website.

3.Complete the submittal template and upload all the supporting documents, such as narratives, drawings, specifications, calculators etc within the relevant credit folders. Project submittals must be complete. If a project is 2-5 Pearls, then the submittal must be complete before UPC will start the evaluation.

4.Print or attach the "Project Information" tab of the submittal template to a cover letter. Ensure this cover letter is prepared in accordance with the Correspondence Protocol outlined above and also includes the project Community ID, Plot ID, and Building ID for geo-tagging purposes.

5.Copy the submittal template (including folder structure with all supporting documents) onto a CD.

6.Submit both the CD and two copies of the cover letter/Project Information sheet to UPC, one of which will be stamped as confirmation of receipt. Directions to the UPC are available here. Note that the Estidama team is on the 7th floor. Submissions are only received between 8:30am and 4:30pm Sunday to Thursday.

All cover letters for Pearl Rating System (PRS) submission must include the summary table as described in the correspondence protocol above.

Please note that projects requiring Development Review must not submit for a PRS Design Rating until they have received their Detailed Planning Approval letter. See Estidama and Development Review for details about the Development Review process.

UPC Pearl Rating System Review Process

Following submission of the Pearl Rating application to UPC, the Estidama team will review the application and provide feedback and comments to both the project PQP/PVRS Professional and to the project owner. The flow chart below illustrates the review process for projects aiming for minimum 1 Pearl (privately funded) or minimum 2 Pearl (government funded) rating.

The UPC team is available throughout the review process to help project teams in obtaining rating approvals in no more than two submissions over a period of less than two months.


Estidama envisions recognition of projects achieving 2-5 Pearls at Design Stage; the details of that recognition are being determined at present and once completed will be posted here.

Construction Rating Application

Projects that have received a Pearl Design rating and are under construction are required to submit a Pearl Construction Rating application after construction is completed. At this point the Pearl Design Rating will expire and will be superseded by the Construction Rating.

The Construction Rating application follows the same process as the design one. Project teams can update the previously submitted templates including a concise description of the changes that occurred between obtaining the design rating and completion of construction. The instructions of the submission process are outlined above.

Currently, all Construction Rating applications must be submitted to the UPC.

Estidama Initiatives