As part of its commitment to innovation and a digital-led economy, the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) announced on September 22 that it would support the regulation, offering, issuance, listing, and trading of crypto assets, as well as related financial activities, inside its free zone.
This initiative was launched via a joint agreement between the UAE Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) and DWTCA. Under the provisions of the agreement, the SCA will oversee, monitor, and inspect all crypto-related businesses operating in the free zone of DWTCA.
The agreement between both parties was signed by Dr Maryam Al Suwaidi, interim CEO of SCA, and Helal Saeed Almarri, director-general of DWTCA and Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.
“The SCA will work with the DWTCA to regulate the issuance, offering, listing, and trading of crypto assets, as well as the licencing of associated financial operations that fall within the jurisdiction of the DWTCA,” according to the joint statement released by the two bodies just after the agreement was signed.
According to Almarri, the DWTCA is committed to expanding its services as a preferred free zone for foreign investors and businesses. “As Dubai continues its path toward an innovation- and digital-driven economy, the DWTCA seeks to encourage businesses based on blockchain and cryptography technologies. Our agreement with the Securities and Commodities Authority will allow the DWTCA to increase its regulatory, licensure, and service capabilities, as well as provide centralised crypto market supervision to our free zone.”
The agreement is in response to Minister of Economy and SCA Board Chairman Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri’s directive to strengthen cooperation and knowledge exchange with various government departments, authorities, and institutions in order to work collaboratively and achieve common goals.
The SCA and the DWTCA will exchange practises on the project and provide mutual technical support to better understand each other’s financial systems. Furthermore, the collaboration will include the provision of professional services that specify the parties’ respective responsibilities and obligations.
Crypto and Digital Assets Will Be Key To UAE Development
Last year, the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) free zone established a blockchain-based sugar trading platform. Its Bitcoin Fund became the region’s first of its kind when it was listed on the Nasdaq Dubai market in June this year.
Meanwhile, In May 2021, the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority and the SCA signed a similar agreement to fully support the cryptocurrency investment activities.
Dubai, according to financial analysts, is well-positioned to benefit from the Middle East’s growing cryptocurrency sector, as its authorities push for wider use of blockchain-based technologies. Dubai, as the region’s financial centre and tax haven, has already taken a number of steps in recent months to increase the city’s use of blockchain, and many experts believe that the Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds will start to invest in blockchain as well.
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The UAE has been at the forefront of blockchain research and implementation, and its objective is consistent with the Emirates Blockchain Strategy.
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