The UAE Ministry of Economy in partnership with the Minister of State for Government Development and the future has commenced application for the top 100 future enterprises including blockchain startups.

The initiative which was launched in December 2022 aims to accelerate the growth of promising UAE ‘Future Economy’ SMEs, encourage investment in ‘Future Economy’ companies in the UAE, strengthen UAE’s position as the start-up and scale-up nation and support the continued sustainable growth of the ‘Future Economy’ ecosystem.

100 startups based out of the UAE and utilizing technologies such as Blockchain, AI, Web3, robotics, IoT, 3D printing, working in sectors such as renewable energy, agritech, space, advance manufacturing, biotech, creative industries, sustainability, healthtech and cybersecurity will be able to participate in the competitionad be awarded Future 100 Label with various perks and benefits.

The chosen startups will have fast Access to Investors, Regulators And Business Community, support – Funding, Legal, Commercial, and Capacity Building

Applicants for the Future 100 will be evaluated on the basis of their creative capacity, market potential, and environmental, social and corporate governance impact.

Startups andSMEs  that have offices or operations in the UAE that are eligible to apply can submit an online application on the Future 100 website.

UAE Dubai Customs have secured a second intellectual property certificate from the UAE’s Ministry of Economy for their groundbreaking “Blockchain System for Managing Intellectual Property and Knowledge Assets”.

Engineer Saeed bin Faris, Manager of the Awareness and Education Section in Dubai Customs, has developed a smart system based on blockchain technology for managing intellectual property and knowledge assets.

The system provides strong and transparent protection for intellectual property rights, ensuring the protection of the creations of inventors, authors, and rights holders. The system will also enhance cooperation between government agencies and international organizations, contributing to the unification of efforts to protect intellectual property worldwide.

Government departments will be able to register IP (Intellectual Property) assets which comes after four innovations and inventions developed by Dubai Customs employees in 2022.

First of its kind in UAE, the system provides an impregnable and transparent defense for intellectual property rights, ensuring the protection of creators, authors, inventors, and all rights holders. Furthermore, this game-changing system will boost collaboration between government agencies and international organizations, solidifying efforts to shield intellectual property on a global scale. This exceptional achievement will forge new avenues towards an even brighter future, and it will mark a significant milestone in the annals of innovation and technology.

 Engineer Saeed bin Fares, Manager of the Awareness and Education Section, stated, “The advanced capabilities of this technology now serve to protect the rights of inventors, innovators, and trademark owners, enabling them to improve their mechanisms for monetizing their innovations and trademarks”.

He added, “This achievement crowns the efforts of Dubai Customs in protecting intellectual property rights, where the department works to combat counterfeit goods at Dubai’s border crossings, supported by the recycling of seized counterfeit goods to preserve the environment and promote local and global sustainability efforts.”

The UAE Cabinet recently updated some of its legislation which  included those pertaining to virtual businesses and virtual assets. The UAE is considering the provision of services and the conduct of business and activities related to virtual assets and virtual businesses based on its new commercial law.  As such businesses dealing either virtually or with virtual assets are considered commercial businesses within the UAE as on shore businesses. This comes after the UAE Cabinet of Ministers issued its decision on virtual assets regulation in December 2022 and which will come into effect in January.

As per UAE’s Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy, Abdullah Al Saleh, developing the business sector is a strategic goal for the state, and providing a legislative environment that stimulates its growth is a top priority.

His comments were made during a media briefing, organized by the Ministry of Economy, to introduce Federal Decree Law No. 50 of 2022 regarding commercial transactions in the country, with the participation of Ibrahim Al Zaabi, Assistant Governor of the Central Bank for Monetary Policy and Financial Stability, and Dr. Maryam Al Suwaidi, CEO of the Securities and Commodities Authority.

As such the UAE Ministry of Economy has issued a new commercial transactions where the most prominent features include reduction of the age of legal capacity to practice business to 18 years, establishment of a legal  reference for commercial transactions for banking institutions to stimulate investment,  support to Islamic banking, amends the provisions related to establishment, regulation of financial markets, and finally support to businesses in tech sector especially digital field.

Al Saleh stated, “ The new law aims to support the commercial interests of the state and comply more with international trade,  strengthen the position of the UAE on the global trade map, keep abreast of international best practices in commercial transactions, and ensure the principles of transparency and clarity in them, as well as raise the country’s classification on relevant economic competitiveness indicators, including the Global Competitiveness Report, and the Ease of Doing Business Report. In addition the new law aims at accelerating the transformation of digital applications further in the business sector in the country, and strengthening the position of the UAE as a center for business activities in the areas of technology, innovation and sectors of the new economy, and reviewed the most prominent provisions and outputs of the new law, which confirms State’s proactive approach.”

The UAE will be creating a virtual business system, the commercial store and commercial transactions, through the means of modern technology, and those that take place in virtual environments, in addition to those provided in realistic standard ways, as well as considering the provision of services and the conduct of business and activities related to virtual assets as virtual businesses in accordance to UAE’s Council of Ministers Legislation regulating virtual assets and their service providers.

This includes

• Giving authenticity to the virtual business so that the same provisions applied to it with respect to similar ones presented realistically.

• Giving legitimacy and authenticity to real and virtual commercial books.

• Selling by public auction of movables instead of used movables and making bids available through a licensed electronic platform or hall or through various modern technology means.

 Dr. Mariam Al-Suwaidi, CEO of the Securities and Commodities Authority, added, “The most noteworthy provisions presented by the new law deal with the securities sector in addition to the fact that the Authority is to consider the business of virtual assets as a commercial business, and this provision gives a privilege to the virtual assets sector. With the issuance of the new law it has been confirmed that businesses related to virtual assets are considered commercial businesses. Therefore, the provisions of this law and other related laws will apply to those who will deal in the activities of this sector, and benefit from the privileges included in the new law, such as the provisions regulating the trader and allowing new age groups to practice business, noting that the Cabinet of Ministers already issued its regulating decision last December for virtual assets, and will enter into force mid-January.” ( Note no public information is available on the Cabinet of Ministers decision for virtual assets.)

The announcement comes in parallel with the recent announcement by the Abu Dhabi based crypto and Blockchain associate to set up a Regulators Committee to help drive change and learn lessons in the wake of last year’s FTX exchange collapse. Jehanzeb Awan of the Middle East, Africa and Asia CBA (MEAACBA) states, “It is pivotal for the industry to help the investing public understand the opportunity and corresponding risks that come with investing in cryptocurrencies. The importance of holistic regulation to minimize regulatory arbitrage is key to reducing the impact of the recent events as well as bringing confidence back to the industry.”

The MEAACBS said its board is setting up a Regulators Committee which aims to bring together the key regulators in the regions covered by the association, to work together in building regulatory regimes that allow for effective oversight of the crypto industry.