UAE financial regulators endorse cryptocurrency trading in Dubai free zone

Key Takeaways

  • The UAE financial watchdog has given its concent to support crytpocurrencies in one of Dubai’s free trade zones
  • The Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) wants to expand its reach to crypto industries
  • Dubai gears up to host the Future Blockchain Summit next month

YEREVAN ( — The UAE Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) and the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) signed an agreement to support cryptocurrency trade and regulation inside the DWTCA’s free trade zone.

SCA acting CEO Maryam Al Suwaidi, DWTCA director-general Helal Saeed Al Marri, and an executive at the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing signed the above-mentioned agreement.

The agreement will authorize the DWTCA to issue approvals and licenses for crypto asset-related financial activities. 

According to the UAE Ministry of Economy, 4.3% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) comes from the digital economy.

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 DWTCA aims for cryptocurrency expansion

The World Trade Centre Area free economic zone wants to open its doors to crypto industries as a part of its policy to expand into the latest financial opportunities.

According to DWTCA director-general Helal Saeed Al Marri, the agreement will allow the body to broaden its regulatory, licenses, and services capabilities. In addition, it will extend the centralized supervision of the crypto market to the free zone.

“As Dubai continues its drive towards an innovation and digital-led economy, the DWTCA is looking to support businesses underpinned by blockchain and cryptographic technologies,”

 he said. 

In return, the SCA will support and inspect the licensed entities that operate within the free zone. Additionally, it will also investigate these entities as and when required.

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UAE wants a larger cryptocurrency involvement 

The approval by the Financial regulators in the UAE is in sync with plans to keep the country at the forefront of blockchain research. 

In April 2018, the UAE Government launched the Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021. The strategy aims to capitalize on blockchain technology to transform 50% of government transactions into the blockchain platform by 2030.

UAE will use blockchain for digital transactions, giving each customer a unique identification number. For security and privacy reasons, the unique number will be linked to their information on a secure chain. 

Additionally, the adoption of blockchain technology will help reduce transaction costs, making the decision-making process faster and efficient. 

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Following the lead of Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA) 

The UAE Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) and the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) have signed an agreement to support cryptocurrency trade and regulation inside the DWTCA’s free trade zone.
The Future Blockchain Summit poster. Credit: BlockSocial

Meanwhile, in May, the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA) and the SCA also signed an agreement to adopt cryptocurrencies.

Since the agreement, cryptocurrencies have been available at the Dubai Airport Free Zone.

The UAE minister of economy Abdulla Bin Touq Al-Marri has high hopes for digitalization. According to him, Cryptocurrency is the key to doubling the country’s GDP by the year 2030.

The minister made the statement at the World Economic Forum’s Global Technology Governance Summit, held on April 6-7 this year. 

Between 17-20, Oct. Dubai will host the Future Blockchain Summit, the world’s first city-hosted blockchain festival, launched in 2018 and led by Smart Dubai. 

The UAE Government is putting in a lot of effort to attract cryptocurrency investments in the country. It is evident, that it sees blockchain as the new digital oil of the Middle East.

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