Swiss private Bank Julius Baer in a recent Bloomberg article announced that it will be expanding its crypto wealth management services in Dubai UAE. This will be the first digital assets service offering outside of Swtizerland by the bank.

As per the article, Julius Baer’s subsidiary JBME will apply for a digital assets license variation on top of its existing permissions in the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DIFC). This would allow the entity to arrange and provide advice and custodial services on digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies.

This is not surprising given that in Julius Baer’s recent global wealth and Lifestyle report, it published that Dubai had risen to the seventh position demonstrating its remarkable success a a destination for the wealthy.

The city has emerged as the preferred choice for companies and entrepreneurs seeking a foothold in the Middle East and is highly favoured by expatriates. By providing an attractive tax framework, investment incentives, superior living standards, robust safety measures, excellent global connectivity, and top-notch infrastructure, Dubai is poised to maintain its position among the top cities in these rankings.

In addition in 2023, Julius Baer participated in the Dubai Fintech Summit, where Jonathan Hayes Head of Digital assets development at Julias Baer spoke on the bank’s digital asset strategy.

In its 2023 strategy report Julius Baer noted that in its strategic cycle 2023-2025 the bank would focus on scaling its business in key markets through organize and inorganiz growth as well an innovate wealth management through digital advancements.

In their stategy report the bank notes, “Over the next strategic cycle 2023-2025, Julius Baer forsaw an additional investment into technology of about CHF 400 million in total, on top of today’s investment budget, to be achieved incrementally and largely capitalised. Further to current investments in its alternative assets offering, such as private markets and real estate, the Group will explore the emerging, albeit volatile, class of digital assets, keeping a close eye on how it evolves and the opportunities it presents. Integrating digital assets into its holistic wealth management proposition will position Julius Baer firmly at the interface of digital assets and the fiat world. The Group is well-prepared to successfully navigate both its clients and its business through the disruptions decentralised finance will inevitably pose.”

This comes as the UAE and Dubai become a destination of choice for global crypto exchanges seeking licenses. Dubai earlier this year launched the first virtual asset regulatory authority in the world, and has witnessed the creation of a digital assets framework on a federal level through its Security and Commodities Authority.

DIFC has also been working heavily on its digital assets framework. In April 2023, The Dubai Financial Services Authority, the regulator of Dubai International Financial Centre,noted that it has a strong pipeline of digital asset companies and global hedge funds that are looking to set up in the emirate’s financial centre. The DFSA has yet to issue a licence in the cryptocurrency space and it may take longer for companies looking to set up a new business than for those already licensed by the regulator.