External regional instability and low oil prices have unsettled the UAE's real estate markets but internal valuation system weakness across institutional capability, standards salience and trust could also accentuate volatility. To investigate internal system maturity, we first analysed over 100,000 residential Dubai property transactions in five high-transaction locales, looking for valuation inaccuracy compared to realized prices. Iconic properties, such in the Burj Khalifa, were significant outliers. Desktop research and site visits also found that major developments distort statistical analysis. Seeking deeper qualitative insights, we conducted walkthrough procedural tests (archival research) on 20 valuations from each of the five locales at the Dubai Land Department ('DLD'). Embedded observation, operational DLD participation in valuation meetings and expert interviews provided further system insights across the three articulated explanatory domains of capabilities, standards salience and stakeholder trust. The final reflective phase of the research invokes a panel discussion to consider Arab and UAE institutional and cultural idiosyncrasies before articulating any operational recommendations or adjustments to policy and UAE valuation standards.