UAE to Launch Free Zone For Digital and Virtual Asset Firms

Ras al Khaimah, one of seven emirates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), will introduce a free trade zone for companies for digital and virtual assets, since the country’s approach to the industry continues to attract global cryptocurrency actors. RAK Digital Asset Oasis (RAK DAO) will be a functional, innovative free zone for activities without custody in the virtual asset range. Applications are opened in the second quarter of 2023, the explanation says.

The free zone becomes service providers for digital and virtual assets in emerging technologies such as metaverse, blockchain, utility tokens, virtual asset wallet, non-fungible tokens (NFTS), decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOS), and many more.

“We are building the free zone of the future for companies of the future,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Humaid bin Abdullah Al Qasimi, chairman of the RAK International Corporate Centre, the operator of the new free zone. “As the world’s first free zone solely dedicated to digital and virtual asset companies, we look forward to supporting the ambitions of entrepreneurs from around the world.”

A free zone or free trade zone is an area in which entrepreneurs are 100 % owner of their company and have their own tax system and its own regulatory framework, with the exception of the UAE Criminal Code. The crypto lawyer Irina Heaver, based in Dubai, demonstrated the steps for the new free zone and argued that Rak Dao would initially start with non -financial activities, which would then possibly introduce financial activities later.

The Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) is one of the most important financial supervisory authorities in the UAE. According to the latest law on virtual assets at the federal level of the country, the SCA is responsible for the entire UAE, with the exception of financial free zones such as Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), which have its own financial institutions. Regulatory authority.

The new free zone complements the over 40 multidisciplinary free areas of the country and attracts a variety of cryptocurrency, blockchain and web3 companies, including the Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC), DIFC and ADGM.

UAE Aiming to Become a Crypto Hub

The UAE has painted itself as a forward-thinking hub for crypto firms eyeing jurisdictions with friendlier regulations. In March 2022, Dubai unveiled its virtual assets law, along with the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority, to protect investors and provide standards for the digital asset industry. In September 2022, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority published guidelines on its approach to regulating and overseeing the new asset class and its service providers.