The United Arab Emirates’ securities regulator has inked an agreement to allow digital currency trading in one of Dubai’s free zones. As the UAE strives to put itself at the forefront of the ever-growing industry, the deal will allow the free zone’s authority to issue licenses to digital currency enterprises.

In the United Arab Emirates, free zones are special economic zones established to provide tax and customs duty incentives to enterprises operating within them.

The Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) and the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) have agreed to assist digital asset regulation, issuance, listing, and trading within the latter’s free zone.

The agreement will enable the DWTCA to provide the appropriate permits and authorization for digital currencies’ financial activity. While the DWTCA is in charge of granting licenses, the securities regulator will oversee the issue, listing, and trading of these assets. It will also keep an eye on those who operate within the free zone.

The agreement was signed on behalf of the regulator by Maryam Al Suwaidi, the SCA’s interim CEO. In her remarks, she stated that the agreement was reached due to a direction from the UAE‘s Minister of Economics, who has been pressuring various government departments to improve cooperation and knowledge sharing.

“The SCA will be responsible for the regulatory supervision of offering, issuing, trading and listing crypto assets and the licensing of financial activities related to them within the limits of the DWTCA free zone. The SCA will also supervise, control and investigate the licensed entities that operate within the free zone,”

she commented.

The two governments will provide mutual technical assistance to better understand each other’s financial systems. They’ll also supply professional services that spell out each parties’ roles and obligations.

Helal Saeed Al Marri, the director general of the DWTCA commented,

“With the rise of new technologies such as non-fungible tokens set to play an important role in the future of commerce […] DWTCA is also pursuing ways to offer a sustainable home for this ecosystem, in order to stay future ready. The UAE has been at the forefront of blockchain research and implementation and our ambition is in line with the Emirates Blockchain Strategy.”


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