Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been rated as top contenders for crypto regulation, according to a report by CoinDesk. While the regulatory structure was the most heavily-weighted criterion, the UAE’s bottom quintile crypto adoption score impacted the overall rating. Despite the low score in the drivers category, Dubai has secured its place in the top five by scoring high in the opportunities category, which includes per capita crypto events, companies, and jobs. Additionally, Dubai has achieved the second-highest quality of life score in the entire sample. The enablers category, which included quality of life, was the second-heaviest weighted criterion. The biggest names in crypto seem to be flocking to Dubai, including Binance co-founders Changpeng Zhao and He Yi, Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong, and Wazirx, one of India’s largest exchanges, which is moving its headquarters to the city.
Dubai’s approach towards crypto has been marked by deliberate steps to embrace innovation over the last few decades. In 2015, the local government enlisted IBM to advise it on new technologies. Six years later, in March, Dubai established the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority, the first independent crypto regulator in the world. While the crypto industry’s demands for clear regulation in the US are being met with lawsuits from the SEC, the UAE has emerged as a viable alternative for the industry.
Dubai’s unique characteristics make it an attractive option for companies in the crypto sector. Its diverse population has made it a melting pot of people with numerous use cases for blockchain technology, ranging from remittances for those working in Dubai to facilitating the flight of capital for those taking refuge from unstable economies. The government has also unveiled the Dubai Metaverse Strategy, with the intention of creating one of the world’s top metaverse economies and a global hub for the metaverse community.
Dubai is not just a travel destination but also fosters global networking and collaboration. It hosts GITEX, a leading tech conference featuring blockchain and web as its focus areas. In addition, the city hosts many crypto events, including Binance Blockchain Week and Dubai Fintech Week. The city’s high score in the opportunities category, combined with its deliberate approach towards innovation, has made it an attractive location for the crypto industry.