Dubai Emerges as a Leading Hub for Crypto Innovation and Regulation

Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been rated as the top crypto hubs due to their exceptional regulatory structures. However, the crypto adoption rate of the rest of the UAE is not as high as these two cities’ residents, according to the criteria used in a recent ranking. Despite this, Dubai has ranked among the top five thanks to high scores in the opportunities category, which measures per-capita crypto events, companies, and jobs. The city has also achieved the second-highest quality of life score, making it an attractive location for crypto giants.

In the past few years, Dubai has emerged as a global financial center, attracting the who’s who of the crypto world. Binance co-founders Changpeng Zhao and He YI and Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong have been meeting with the regulators there, and Wazirx, one of India’s largest exchanges, is moving its headquarters to Dubai. This comes as Dubai’s master plan to enter the top echelon of global financial centers is working. The city has been growing as a business and financial services hub in the Middle East by embracing innovation, particularly in crypto.

Dubai’s approach to crypto has been deliberate and intentional, engaging IBM to advise it on new technologies. The IBM team eventually led the city-state to officially announce that it was discussing a legal framework for cryptocurrencies in 2015. Six years later, Dubai established the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), making it the world’s first independent crypto regulator. As the crypto industry demands clear regulation from the authorities, the UAE has emerged as a viable alternative.

Dubai offers a home for all types of crypto use cases, thanks to its diverse population, blockchain technology has numerous use cases in the city. The government has unveiled the Dubai Metaverse Strategy, intending to create one of the world’s top metaverse economies, and a global hub for the metaverse community. The country aims to attract blockchain and metaverse companies, creating virtual jobs.

Dubai fosters global networking and collaboration, hosting the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition, a leading tech conference, and several crypto events such as Binance Blockchain Week and Dubai Fintech Week. After leaving IBM, Saqr Ereiqat, then IBM’s head of public sector consultancy in Dubai, co-founded Dubai-based Crypto Oasis, further cementing the city’s role as a global crypto hub.