In a recent visit between UAE, Hamid AlZaabi, Director General of the Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing (EO AML/CTF), hosted a Moroccan national delegation led by Dr. Jawhar Al Nafisi, Chairman of the Moroccan National Financial Intelligence Authority, coordinated on initiatives with regards to anti money laundering and counter terrorism financing, with DIFC giving presentation on UAE experience in virtual assets.

Members of the EO AML/CTF presented on topics such as the National Strategy and virtual assets, and the UAE’s experience using AI to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. A joint discussion resulted in the agreement on specific areas of cooperation to be included in follow-up steps to implement the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding between the EO AML/CTF and the Moroccan National Financial Intelligence Authority.

In addition Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) discussed the UAE experience analyzing cases related to virtual assets.

Hamid AlZaabi highlighted the robust cooperation between the UAE and Morocco and its significant impact on raising standards of compliance within the MENA region.

He stated, “Our two countries are united in commitment to combating financial crime and collaborate effectively on multiple levels, both bilaterally and through the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF). I am pleased that through our regular meetings, we have developed a comprehensive framework for cooperation and have launched several joint initiatives that are already making a difference. By sharing expertise and best practices, the expertise developed by each country can be leveraged to mutual benefit, to ensure safeguarding our financial regional system.”

Dr. Jawhar Al Nafisi, Chairman of the Moroccan National Financial Intelligence Authority, commented, “This visit underscores the strong strategic ties between Morocco and the UAE, as both nations aim to align strategies and visions on bilateral, regional and international levels, and share expertise to prepare for the upcoming mutual evaluation round. To ensure the sustainability of the efforts made to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, I am pleased to invite Director General, Hamid Al Zaabi to Kingdom of Morocco for progress discussions and to measure the effectiveness of joint committees established during the meetings held over the past two days.”
During the two-day meeting, the parties discussed ongoing bilateral cooperation activities. To further enhance the coordination efforts, both parties have decided to establish several joint committees, including ones to monitor standards and developments, technical committees, and a supervisory committee to track progress and ensure goal attainment.

It is noteworthy that although Morocco leads in terms of the number of crypto holders, it has still not regulated crypto and virtual assets.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) the regulatory arm of DIFC ( Dubai International Financial Center) has amended its crypto token regime. These changes stem from the proposals outlined in Consultation Paper 153 – Updates to the Crypto Token regime published in January 2024.

According to the press release, this marks a significant step in refining and advancing the regulatory environment for Crypto Tokens in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Amendments are related to the following areas, funds, custody, recognition of crypto tokens and financial crime

In terms of funds DFSRA now allows the offering of units of external and foreign funds investing in recognized crypto tokens, as well as the ability for domestic qualified investor funds to invest in unrecognized crypto tokens. Minimum individual investment in fund is $50,000. The Fund’s investment in Crypto Tokens is limited to Recognized Crypto Tokens and does not exceed 20% of the gross asset value of the Fund.

Firms can offer custodial and staking services as per the amendment but they cannot offer lending services. Cited in the document, ” An Authorized Firm must not offer or provide any facility or service that allows a Client to lend a Crypto Token to the Authorized Firm or to another person unless it is reasonably satisfied that:. (2) The restriction in (1) does not apply to: (a) an Authorized Firm that is authorized to Provide Custody, if: (i) the Crypto Token is not a Prohibited Token; (ii) the Authorized Firm is reasonably satisfied that: (a)(A) the Client is a Professional Client or Market Counterparty; and (b)(B) the lending is solely for the purpose of staking.; and (iii) the requirements in (3) have been met”

An Authorized Firm must be able to demonstrate to the DFSA’s satisfaction the grounds upon which the Authorized Firm considers the Third Party Agent or a non DIFC custodian to be suitable to hold Safe Custody Investments or Safe Custody Crypto Tokens.

In addition DFSA has replaced its previous Anti-Money Laundering, Counter-Terrorist Financing and Sanctions Module (AML) – (AML/VER25/05-24) is repealed and has been replaced by Appendix 1 to this instrument and may be identified by the following reference – (AML/VER26/06-24). VASPs will have to comply with Federal Cabinet Resolution No. 10 of 2019 requirements under Federal AML legislation to Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs), in addition to Financial Institutions and DNFBPs. The DFSA’s AML regime applies in addition to the Federal AML legislation.

In terms of NFTs and utility tokens, the DFSA has excluded a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) and a Utility Token from its Crypto Token definition where such a Token meets specified criteria. However The DFSA has prescribed in AML Rule 3.2.1 that a person who carries on the business or profession of issuing or providing services related to a NFT or Utility Token is a DNFBP. An exclusion applies, in the case of an issuer, if the value of each NFT or Utility Token issued is less than $15,000 and, in the case of a service provider, if the service is IT support or advice to an issuer.

VASPs will have to adhere to AML requirements of the government of the U.A.E. or any government departments in the U.A.E.; the Central Bank of the U.A.E.; the FIU; the National Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism And Financing of Illegal Organizations Committee (NAMLCFTC); FATF; U.A.E. enforcement agencies; and the DFSA.

DFSA also recognized stablecoins which it called Fiat crypto tokens. DFSA does not consider privacy tokens or algorithmic tokens as recognized.

As noted, ” if Fiat Crypto Token, all of the requirements are met in respect of that Fiat Crypto Token including the matters referred to the regulatory status of the Crypto Token in other jurisdictions, including whether it has been assessed or approved for use by a Regulator in another Recognized Jurisdiction; whether there is adequate transparency relating to the Crypto Token, including sufficient detail about its purpose, protocols, consensus mechanism, governance arrangements, founders, key persons, miners and significant holders; the size, liquidity and volatility of the market for the Crypto Token globally; the adequacy and suitability of the technology used in connection with the Crypto Token and whether risks associated with the Crypto Token are adequately mitigated, including risks relating to governance, legal and regulatory issues, cybersecurity, money laundering, market abuse and other financial crime.

These changes are based on recent market developments, recommendations from international standard-setters and the DFSA’s supervisory experience.

Over the past two years, the DFSA has engaged with over 100 firms looking to be licensed, gaining valuable insights into the market dynamics and regulatory needs.

Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: “Our objective with the Crypto Token regime is to foster innovation in a responsible and transparent manner while ensuring we meet our regulatory objectives. At the DFSA, we have taken a balanced approach in the development of this regime and remain committed to evolving it in line with global best practices and standards.”

Noteworthy is that the amendments did not cover insurance which was mentioned in January in the consultation paper.

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial center in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, enacts the world’s first Digital Assets Law, a new Law of Security and related amendments to select existing legislation to cater for the consequences of the new digital assets regime and revised security regime. The legislative enactments aim to ensure DIFC Laws keep pace with the rapid developments in international trade and financial markets arising from technological developments, and to provide legal certainty for investors in, and users of, Digital Assets.

Digital Assets Law – DIFC Law No. 2 of 2024

Digital Assets represent a trillion-dollar asset class and the scope for future innovation and market opportunities within it are considerable. Thus far, the primary focus in many jurisdictions has been to regulate and impose enforcement related sanctions on some of the practical applications of this asset class from a regulated financial services perspective. However, the fundamental benefits brought about by blockchain technology, the digital assets that can be created thereby, and their application across a wide spectrum of use cases will grow and become of increasing importance in a much wider context. In this regard, the broader legal questions as to the exact nature of the legal features and consequences of digital assets has very much remained open for debate on a number of key issues. International legal developments and judgments across the common law world have begun to provide some clarity in this regard but have not yet provided a comprehensive legal framework mapping out the full extent of the legal characteristics of a digital asset and how users and investors within this asset class may interact with digital assets and each other.  

Following extensive review of the legal approaches taken to digital assets in multiple jurisdictions, and a period of public consultation in 2023, DIFC is now enacting its own Digital Assets Law. 

Existing DIFC laws such as the Contracts Law, Law of Obligations, Law of Security, Law of Damages and Remedies, Trust Law and Foundations Law have also been updated through DIFC Amendment Law, No. 3 of 2024, to cater to specific issues arising in relation to this asset class. 

Updates to the Law of Obligations also provide for the use of electronic transferable records. Electronic transferable records are functionally equivalent to paper trade documents or instruments such as bills of lading, bills of exchange, promissory notes and warehouse receipts. Recognition of such documents in electronic form facilitates greater efficiencies within cross-border digital trade by increasing the speed and security of transmission of documentation and allowing for the automation of certain transactions through smart contracts.

Similarly, a great deal of innovation has taken place in secured transactions regimes internationally – particularly since the DIFC Law of Security was enacted in 2005. This includes the emergence of businesses and platforms that enable the extension of credit in, and secured or covered by, digital asset collateral arrangements, and an increasing drive to digitise international trade.  

Following consideration of regimes in other jurisdictions and, in particular, UNCITRAL’s Model Law on Secured Transaction, in conjunction with the new Digital Assets Law, DIFC is repealing the 2005 Law of Security, and replacing it with a new Law of Security to significantly amend and enhance DIFC’s securities regime. This will align the regime with international best practice and provide clarity in relation to taking security over digital assets.  In doing so, DIFC is also repealing the Financial Collateral Regulations, amalgamating the financial collateral provisions into a new chapter of the new Law of Security. 

Jacques Visser, Chief Legal Officer at DIFC Authority, said: “DIFC is excited to announce the enactment of its Digital Assets Law. We consider this legislation to be groundbreaking as the first legislative enactment to comprehensively set out the legal characteristics of digital assets as a matter of property law, and to provide for how digital assets may be controlled, transferred and dealt with by interested parties. At the same time, we are also enacting a new Law of Security, replacing the 2005 law. The revised regime is modelled on the UNCITRAL Model of Secured Transactions and significantly enhances DIFC’s securities regime to keep pace with international developments in this field and to ensure DIFC remains at the forefront of best practice.”

The new legislation came into effect on 8 March 2024 and can be accessed via DIFC’s Legislative Database: here.
The new laws reflect the Centre’s commitment to maintaining a transparent and robust legal and regulatory framework aligned with global best practice.

In an interesting move towards including digital assets into the wealth management value chain, DIFC Innovation Hub, global Swiss wealth management Julius Baer and Euroclear a financial infrastructure market firm, have come together to explore how family offices and HNWI ( High Net Worth Individuals) can best use technology to expand their digital asset portfolios as well as apply multi generation inheritance.

As per a press release, DIFC’s Innovation Hub experts will work closely with Julius Baer’s global innovation team and Euroclear’s innovation Centre of excellence for a three-month sprint that will result in a white paper detailing a future-oriented solution for succession planning relating tokenization applied to multi-generational inheritance. The analysis and subsequent findings will serve as a blueprint for other geographies looking to turn similar challenges into opportunities. 

It is estimated that AED 3.67trn (USD 1trn) in assets will be transferred to the next generation in the Middle East over the coming decade. However, only 24 per cent of High-Net-Worth Individuals have a full estate plan in place. Fast adoption of various digital asset classes by individuals and businesses also poses potential complexities to a seamless execution of estate plans currently in place. The DIFC Innovation Hub, Julius Baer and Euroclear collaboration will help bring tangible solutions to this global challenge.

Mohammad Alblooshi, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Innovation Hub, commented, “The region is witnessing a trend of generational wealth being deployed across a variety of digital asset classes to diversify and future-proof their portfolios. By bringing together global leading entities across wealth management, financial services providers, tech disruptors and regulators, this newly launched innovation project will help transform one of the largest, underserved markets in the region and open doors to a more inclusive and tech enabled future for family businesses and the wealth management industry.”

Alireza Valizadeh, CEO, Julius Baer (Middle East) Ltd, added, “Generational wealth transfer is gaining momentum in the UAE, and we, as Julius Baer, are in a unique position to advise our clients having had our origins as a family business. On the occasion of Julius Baer’s 20-year anniversary in Dubai, I am hoping that this innovation project will showcase how we can work together to stay relevant to our future clients and provide a vision highlighting the evolution of the private banking industry especially with the onset of digital assets.”

Philippe Laurensy, Head of Group Strategy, Product Management and Innovation at Euroclear, noted, “As a trusted financial market infrastructure we have a strong commitment to collaborate with the market providing innovative solutions to our clients. We are extremely pleased to be working with DIFC Innovation Hub and Julius Baer on what we see as a transformative journey to address market gaps and create efficiencies by harnessing the power of tokenization. By validating and unlocking the benefits of smart contracts we have the potential to redefine the narrative of wealth management, creating solutions that could span generations.”

The DIFC Innovation Hub has been attracting as well more and more Blockchain, digital assets, Web3 companies from around the globe and locally.

Slowly but surely, the DIFC (Dubai International Financial Center) innovation hub has been welcoming Web3, Blockchain, AI entities and investor companies into their ecosystem. The DIFC Innovation Hub aims to have 500 entities by 2028.

So far they have welcomed in a dozen or more startups and investor partners. Most recently AI and Blockchain Company Mentat Technologies joined the AI &Web3 Campus. In November Mentat announced that it will develop an open source SAP connector and Enablement API to the Algorand blockchain.

Another company that has recently joined is Kodin Soft, which develops high tech software solution. The company is working on several projects including TELESCOPELIVE which empowers astrophotography and remote imaging allowing space enthusiasts to experience the night sky like never before.

Even Avail, a Blockchain project spun off of Polygon in 2023 aiming to handle data storage and verification for blockchains, which launched the data attestation bridge test net to secure data off-chain has joined. The bridge connected to Ethereum, and can be used by both zero-knowledge and optimistic rollups that use Ethereum as a base layer.

Avail aims to be a solution for layer 2s and 3s to publish data off-chain, to reduce the high transaction fees that often come from posting data on the main Ethereum blockchain.

Other companies joining include HoloFair, a metaverse platform. HoloFair facilitates seamless integration of gamification, e-commerce, and interactive elements, ensuring an immersive and data-rich metaverse experience.

Even AI startup Zarqa, incubated by SingularityNET, and specializing in Neural Symbolic Large Language Models (#LLMs) has come on board.. Leveraging engineering expertise, Zarqa pioneers the next generation of LLMs with scaled neural-symbolic AI, reflecting technical innovation and steadfast leadership.

CyberNet AI also joined the Dubai AI & Web3 Campus. Cybernet pioneers virtual voice robot services through a seamless SaaS model, featuring AIDOS, an Artificial Intelligence Dialog Operating System. Offering versatile applications in debt collection, NPS surveys, and telemarketing, Cybernet’s solution boasts an impressive 82% collection efficiency while reducing operational costs by 1.5 times.

Then there are the incubators and investors that have joined the AI Web3 campus at DIFC Innovation Hub. Metafour Labs has come in dedicated to elevating early-stage tech ventures specializing in blockchain, and Web3. The company provides strategic advisory services for successful launches and scaling.

Ibtikar a business consultancy firm for Web3 joined. While DIFC Innovation Hub and AI Web3 campus partnered with Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), MENA venture capital firm dedicated to supporting innovative tech companies in the Middle East.

In addition to those mentioned above many other entities have joined the Web3 AI Campus as DIFC issues commercial licenses at 90% subsidies.  DIFC aims towards having a vibrant ecosystem of DLT, AI, and Web3 entities.

According to DIFC, “The initiative aims to propel Dubai’s journey towards becoming a digital society, fostering collaboration, innovation, and global talent attraction.”

The AI and Web 3.0 Campus aspires to become the MENA region’s largest hub for AI and Web3 companies. With a goal of hosting over 500 high-tech companies by 2028, it envisions bringing in $300 million in funds and creating over 3,000 jobs within five years.

Mohammad Alblooshi, CEO of the DIFC Innovation Hub , states that these licenses will elevate Dubai’s position as a preferred destination for tech-focused companies, driving world-class talent and diversified investments to the region.

Maybe this is why South Korean game developer, Wemade, and UAE DIFC Innovation Hub partnered to build WEMIX Play web3 gaming community to support Dubai Program for Gaming 2033.

South Korean game developer, Wemade, and UAE DIFC (Dubai International Financial Zone), Innovation Hub partner to build WEMIX Play web3 gaming community to support Dubai Program for Gaming 2033.

The Wemade-DIFC Innovation Hub collaboration plans to focus on core initiatives, including establishing WEMIX PLAY Center within the DIFC Innovation Hub for WEMIX PLAY. Wemade and DIFC Innovation hub will onboard game companies and facilitate the raising of $100 million Web3 gaming fund to  support the developers, studios and entrepreneurs.

Dubai is a leading business hub with advanced financial services and policies for fostering economic growth, investor attraction, blockchain, and cryptocurrency. Aided by DIFC Innovation Hub, Wemade aims to maintain close communication with UAE crypto-regulating bodies for making the Middle East business strategy as per up-to-date trends.

Wemade is also working on an application for Crypto Token Recognition from the Dubai Financial Services Authority, the DIFC’s Financial Regulator. Tokens conferred with this status will allow financial institutions in the DIFC to carry out transactions with them, to be used by over 4,900 companies in the special economic zone.

Taurus SA, a FINMA-regulated Swiss institutional-grade digital asset infrastructure provider, has expanded its operations into the Middle East to serve its growing client base in the region. Taurus will service the GCC and MENA region, including KSA, Qatar and even Turkey through its Dubai UAE office.

Founded in 2018Taurus SA, a Swiss company provides enterprise-grade digital asset infrastructure to issue, custody and trade any digital assets: cryptocurrencies, tokenized assets, NFTs and digital currencies.

Managing Director, Bashir Kazour, leads Taurus’ new UAE office based in the DIFC in Dubai. M. Kazour brings more than 20 years of retail, capital markets and technology experience gained at Royal Bank of Canada, Standard Chartered and FIS, a leading banking and payment technology provider. Over the last decade, he collaborated closely with a diverse client base ranging from sovereign wealth funds and central banks to brokers and family offices.

“I am excited to lead Taurus’ efforts and build a winning franchise in the Middle East, a region known for its rapid adoption of blockchain technology and digital assets,” said Kazour. “Taurus is well-known for its unique custody and tokenization capabilities serving banking clients and large enterprises, which aligns perfectly with the needs of the region. We’ve already started interacting closely with regulators, central banks and clients and I’m looking forward to delivering cutting-edge and compliant solutions to the market.”

Speaking to LaraontheBlock on whether Taurus requires regulation by VARA, Bashir Kazour, Managing Director at Taurus SA explained, “Taurus does not need a regularity license in the UAE as we solely focus on providing the digital asset infrastructure to our clients in the region. To make it simple, Taurus is a technology provider, equipping banks and corporates, with a platform to manage any digital asset. The financial services activity is regulated by the Swiss FINMA and is not promoted outside of Switzerland.”

Taurus opened an office in DIFC Dubai because the company has already signed up some large financial institutions according to Kazour. He adds, “We are also in late stage discussions with several other financial and non-financial institutions in the Middle East region. The region is known for its rapid adoption of blockchain technology and digital assets driven by the regulatory clarity already provided through VARA, ADGM, RAK DAO initiatives, fostering innovation.”

As such Kazour reaffirms that the opening of the office in the UAE is to support this growing demand in the region for both custodial and tokenization solutions.

The office according to Kazour will serve the full Middle East region, including Qatar, KSA but also Turkey. He adds, “ We also have plans to expand to other countries as well.”

Taurus has already consolidated its European leadership position as the preferred digital asset infrastructure provider for banks and corporates, building on its Swiss market leadership with more than 60% market share. Among others, Taurus has recently announced a partnership with Deutsche Bank as well as CACEIS, one of the largest global custodians. Taurus also closed its $65 million Series B funding round last February with strategic investors including Arab Bank Switzerland, Credit Suisse, and Pictet.

UAE, Muhammad Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF) has selected Blockchain powered working capital financing solutions startup, InvoiceMate to be part of its accelerator program.  InvoiceMate based out of UAE DIFC ( Dubai International Financial Center)

InvoiceMate is among the 22 startups selected out of over 230 applications from 41 countries around the world.  As part of the MBRIF acceleration program, InvoiceMate will gain unparalleled support and resources to fuel its innovation and growth. This collaboration opens up a world of opportunities for InvoiceMate, providing access to a vast network of industry experts, thought leaders, and potential investors who will offer invaluable guidance and strategic insights to fuel the company’s expansion plans.

InvoiceMate is a Blockchain & AI powered invoicing platform acts as bridge between SMEs and Financing Institutions. This easy digital inclusion leads to even easier financial inclusion by enabling SMEs access to various forms of credit like invoice discounting, factoring, BNPL, and supply chain financing.

Muhammad Salman Anjum, CEO of InvoiceMate, expressed his delight, saying, “We are honored to be chosen for the Muhammad Bin Rashid Innovation Fund acceleration program. This recognition validates the hard work and dedication of our team and reflects our commitment to driving innovation in the financial technology industry. Through this program, we look forward to leveraging the support and expertise to further enhance our solutions and make a lasting impact on businesses worldwide.”

Two new crypto tokens TonCoin (TON), and Ripple’s XRP have joined Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum, and Litecoin as recognized crypto tokens by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the financial regulatory agency of the special economic zone, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

One year since the launch of DFSA the crypto token regime and five crypto tokens can now be utilized by virtual asset firms within the DIFC. License firms will be able to incorporate XRP and TON into their virtual asset services. XRP and TON will be available for use by institutions located in the DIFC to accelerate faster, more efficient global value exchange.

Commenting on the acceptance of XRP in DIFC crypto token regime, Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple,  “Dubai continues to demonstrate global leadership when it comes to the regulation of virtual assets and nurturing innovation. It’s refreshing to see the DFSA encourage the adoption and use of digital assets such as XRP to position Dubai as a leading financial services hub intent on attracting foreign investment and accelerating economic growth. Ripple will continue to double down on its presence in Dubai and we look forward to continuing to work closely with regulators to realize crypto’s full potential.”

The recognition of TON comes a few days after TON set a world record for network speed. The TON team conducted a public test of blockchain speed. The developers reported that in 12 minutes of the experiment about 42 million transactions were performed, and the maximum speed amounted to 108,409 transactions per second.

Under the regime, firms in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) can apply for and obtain a license to provide financial services with Crypto Tokens in or from the DIFC. The DFSA’s regulatory regime is largely technology-neutral, allowing firms to provide a wide range of financial services with Crypto Tokens.

The framework is designed to accommodate firms who want to operate a Crypto Token market, provide custodial services, manage clients’ assets, establish or manage funds, or provide other financial services. The rules cover a wide range of risks relating to financial crime, technology, governance, custody, disclosure, market abuse and fraud.

Since its inception the crypto token regime has received enquiries from 100+ firms have inquired regarding operating a Crypto Token business, 5 Crypto Token variations were issued (a mix of funds and trading business). In addition one license to offer Investment Tokens was issued (to tokenize units of a fund);  and five crypto tokens have now been recognized.

DFSA will be launching its next set of proposals that will focus on custody; financial Crime; Staking for Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus mechanisms; and Fund Management

The UAE Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts has signed an agreement with Ras Al Khaimah Digital Assets Oasis (RAK DAO) the world’s first and only common law free zone dedicated to global digital and virtual assets companies, to drive greater awareness of DIFC Courts digital economy services to businesses operating within Ras Al Khaimah’s newly launched digital economy freezone.

The memorandum will foster closer cooperation on projects and initiatives designed to boost the UAE’s vision for a thriving digital economy and support economic ambitions. The agreement will also promote closer alignment and collaboration across specific digital economy services provided by both organizations.

The DIFC Courts is currently operating on a new roadmap for the years 2022-2024, which includes a strategic work plan that brings more national cohesion to the Courts’ projects and initiatives in line with the ‘D33’ economic agenda and the Dubai Digital Strategy. This in turn is providing effective support for both the federal and local Dubai strategic goals.

His Excellency Justice Omar Al Mheiri, Director, DIFC Courts, said, “Expectations from the private sector increasingly require the bold engagement of public service. By combining a modern and flexible digital infrastructure with judicial and service excellence, the DIFC Courts will continue to align our operations with the national agenda. As the UAE begins to nurture new digital economy verticals, the number of foreign organisations entering the market will inevitably increase. The DIFC Courts and RAK Digital Assets Oasis will collaborate through this agreement to assure these businesses that we remain on standby to accommodate the growing digital economy and resolve new types of cases and disputes.”

Dr Sameer Al Ansari, Chief Executive Officer, RAK Digital Assets Oasis, said: “We are thrilled to partner with the DIFC Courts. This collaboration marks a significant step in fostering a more dynamic digital ecosystem within our newly established free zone in Ras Al Khaimah. We believe that this partnership will greatly enhance the accessibility and awareness of the DIFC Courts’ digital economy services, providing valuable support to the companies of the future in our thriving digital oasis.”

RAK DAO is the world’s first and only common law free zone dedicated to global digital and virtual assets companies, empowering innovators in their journey to build the future of Web3 and blockchain technology across industries, promising to disrupt traditional business models and unlock the full potential of digital assets.

In 2021, the DIFC Courts confirmed the launch of a new Division. The international Digital Economy Court (DEC) simplifies the settlement process of complex civil and commercial disputes related to the digital economy, reviewing national and international claims related to current and emerging technologies, including big data, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, artificial intelligence, and cloud services.

The Digital Economy Court is a global initiative that operates in parallel, helping to build a new judicial support network to serve the stringent demands of digital transformation and adoption. Leading international judicial expertise has been recruited to oversee and operate the new Court’s cutting-edge digital infrastructure and service capabilities, complementing an existing portfolio of specialised Divisions, including the Technology & Construction Division and the Arbitration Division, launched by the DIFC Courts to serve an expanding demand for judicial expertise across sector-specific cases.

The launch of the new Division also signals to the international business community the intent of Dubai and the UAE to play a leading role in advancing its judicial systems to specifically direct capacity and capability to resolving digital economy-related disputes, whilst also utilizing some of the very same cutting-edge technologies to enable greater efficiency of service to the public.