UAE Emerges as a Digital & Virtual Asset Hub

How the UAE is Leading the Digital Economy and Innovation through Transformation

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is rapidly positioning itself as a leading international center for digital and virtual assets, with several initiatives underway to attract investment and talent to the region: 

Thanks to its comprehensive framework, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), “UAE” is at the forefront of regulating digital and virtual assets. The framework addresses several risks, such as market abuse, financial crime, consumer protection, technology governance, custody, and exchange operations. These apply to various intermediaries, including multilateral trading facilities, brokers, custodians, and asset managers. The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) is responsible for leading this framework. ADGM’s ultimate goal is to create a reliable and flexible regulatory environment for stakeholders while also promoting economic diversification in Abu Dhabi and the UAE.

Meanwhile, the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy has set a target to increase the UAE’s digital economy from its current value of $38 billion to $140 billion by 2031. This would make Dubai the world’s digital business capital. The chamber aims to attract around 300 digital startups and 100 technology experts from around the world by 2024 to improve policies and laws, promote digital transformation, and optimise the business environment for global digital companies. They aim to increase the contribution of the digital economy to GDP from c. 10% to >20%.

 

The ruler of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, has introduced regulations to establish free zones, which are business areas with specific rules that do not apply to commercial activities outside the zone. The aim of RAK Digital Asset Oasis, which has been granted financial, administrative, and legislative autonomy, is to operate as an innovative enabling free zone in the virtual assets sector and attract global digital and virtual asset companies to the Emirate. The focus is on promoting responsible innovation and making it the center of technology investment and talent. RAK Digital Assets Oasis started operations in April 2023 and is now accepting registrations from the general public, making it the only free zone in the world dedicated solely to emerging digital and virtual asset enterprises.

The United Arab Emirates has become a sought-after destination for companies in search of funding and favorable business conditions, thanks to its progressive approach to digital and virtual assets. Many companies are starting to recognise the immense potential and advantages offered by the UAE as a business destination. The comprehensive regulatory framework and the government’s focus on economic diversification and technology investment create an ideal ecosystem for growth and development. As a result of this, there has been a massive influx of companies and startups moving to the UAE.