The emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Ras Al Khaimah have announced the establishment of crypto market trading zones called the RAK Digital Assets Oasis.
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This free economic zone, dedicated to virtual assets and digital companies, will create a unique space for crypto and digital asset service providers in emerging sectors like Blockchain, NFTs, DApps, DAOs, and Web3-related projects. The Dubai free zone will begin accepting applications in Q2 2023, making it an attractive destination for digital and virtual asset companies looking to develop future business models in a globally connected, remote-work-friendly environment.
The UAE is positioning itself to become the next global crypto hub by introducing cryptocurrency laws and regulations. Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Ras Al Khaimah are the seven emirates that have already established such laws. The Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority regulates virtual assets like Bitcoin and NFTs in Dubai.
The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CUBUAE) is launching a central bank digital currency (CBDC) as part of its nine-part Financial Infrastructure Transformation Programme (FIT). The FIT Programme supports the UAE’s vision to become a leader in innovation and the National Digital Economy Strategy with full integration in 2026. The program is also designed to strengthen the financial services industry and make it globally competitive.
The UAE’s growing importance in the cryptocurrency world is confirmed by the increasing number of digital asset companies applying for local licenses. Major players like Kraken, eToro, SEBA Bank, and the world’s largest crypto exchanges, Binance and Crypto.com, have all obtained similar licenses. In November 2022, Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM) granted CAPEX.com, a major retail brokerage, a cryptocurrency license.