The regulator established the first virtual asset law to oversee the Dubai sector

The emirate of Dubai has adopted its first law governing virtual assets and established a regulator to oversee the sector, its ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said on Wednesday.

The United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven emirates and the region’s financial capital, is pushing for the development of virtual asset control to attract new forms of business as regional economic competition heats up.

Virtual assets typically include products including cryptocurrencies and NFTs, but the announcement did not specify which assets would be covered by the new law.

The goal of the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulation Act is to position Dubai and the United Arab Emirates as a regional and global destination for the virtual wealth sector, Sheikh Mohammed said in a statement issued by state media.

The Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority will oversee the development of a business environment for virtual assets in terms of regulation, licensing and governance, he said.

The new law will apply across Dubai, excluding the state-owned Financial Free Zone DIFC. The regulator of DIFC, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), is working on its own regulations for the virtual assets sector.

In October, the DFSA released the first part, which deals with digital tokens, and this week launched a consultation on regulation for crypto tokens, which includes cryptocurrencies.

The UAE as a whole is approaching the issuance of virtual asset investment regulation, the UAE Securities and Commodity Authority (SCA) said on Tuesday.

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