Dubai creates a virtual asset regulator and introduces a new crypto law

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, has announced a new law on virtual assets as well as the creation of a cryptocurrency regulator.


Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, has announced a new law on virtual assets as well as the creation of a cryptocurrency regulator.
Image: Sheikhmohammed.ae

Sheikh Al Maktoum announced on Wednesday that he had issued a law in the Emirate of Dubai providing a legal framework for cryptocurrency, with the goal of protecting investors and "defining much-needed worldwide standards" for industry governance.


Moreover, a newly constituted Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority, or VARA, will also have enforcement powers throughout the Emirate's special development zones and free zones, with the exception of the Dubai International Financial Centre, according to the ruler.


The Sheikh comments as follows:

"Approving the virtual asset law and establishing the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority is a vital step that establishes the UAE’s position in this sector a step that aims to help the sector to grow and protect investors."

The crypto law, according to Sheikh Al Maktoum, will force residents of Dubai to register with VARA before engaging in crypto-related activity. Businesses that deal with virtual assets must also have a presence in Dubai.



These operations include running a cryptocurrency exchange, transferring cryptocurrencies, and providing other token-related services.


The announcement did not clarify which cryptocurrencies would be covered by the law, but it did say that VARA would define and specify the different forms of virtual assets, as well as establish rules and controls.


Note that anyone caught breaking the new law might face fines or have their business license suspended or revoked. When infractions occur, the board of directors of the Dubai World Trade Centre will decide what to do.