To manage development pressures, smart cities need reliable information systems. In turbulent times, a robust valuation system can help to regulate transactions and guide property investment. Reliable valuations are particularly important for Gulf cities like Dubai whose property and capital markets absorb regional oil and global liquidity. The transformation of the Emirate from a fishing village to a global trade, tourism, financial and logistics hub stimulated property markets. Generally, as a market matures, investors downplay speculative bets, valuations standards tighten and players undertake more systematic project quality evaluations. The research investigated the UAE residential valuation system (‘RVS’) based on valuation output reasonableness, stakeholder information transparency, administrative capability, end-user trust and valuation standards salience. Mixed methods evidence involved embedded observations, transactions analysis, expert interviews and confirmatory discussions. Initial results suggest that key UAE residential valuation system improvements should focus on information dissemination, institutional capabilities and dissemination of valuation standards.