SCA and DAFZA sign agreement to support regulating cryptoassets

The Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) announced the signing of an agreement with the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA) to support regulating, issuing, listing, and trading cryptoassets within the free zone.

The agreement was signed by H.E. Dr. Maryam Al Suwaidi, Acting Chief Executive Officer of SCA, and Amna Lootah, Assistant Director General of DAFZA.

The new agreement provides for the licensing of companies dealing in cryptoassets and cryptocurrencies in the free zone as SCA will be issuing the relevant licenses and approvals.  DAFZA is aspiring to expand the business licenses that will complement the services and incentives offered by the free zone. This is in addition to the advanced regulatory framework and the resilient legislative infrastructure that enhance the experience of foreign investors.

In collaboration with DAFZA, SCA will handle the regulatory oversight of the issuance, offering, listing, and trading of cryptoassets as well as the licensing of the associated financial activities that fall under DAFZA’s jurisdiction. Under the agreement, SCA will oversee, monitor, and inspect entities operating within DAFZA’s jurisdiction and holding a license or an approval from SCA in accordance with this agreement.

The agreement will drive growth in this sector and promote the use of blockchain in the emirate of Dubai and the UAE, which is the main focus of the blockchain strategy the UAE is pursuing.

Following the signing, Dr. Al Suwaidi stressed that entering into this agreement comes as part of the keenness of both parties to foster cooperation in areas of common interest, thus helping to achieve the National Agenda goals and the government’s strategy to promote economic growth. It also comes in response to directives from H.E. Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy and SCA Board Chairman, to enhance cooperation and exchange knowledge and expertise with various government departments, authorities, and institutions and to work as one team to assume a leading role and achieve common goals.

Dr. Al Suwaidi noted that this agreement lays the foundations for a strategic partnership that enables the provision of excellent professional services while identifying the responsibilities and obligations of each party in addition to the provision of reliable, timely support to each party regarding matters that fall within the scope of application of this agreement. It also provides for sharing expertise and best market practices to achieve the strategic and regulatory goals of each party.

“DAFZA works continuously to attract foreign investors by expanding the scope of its services and licenses. Over the past twenty-five years, the free zone has become highly credible and secured a distinct position within the international business community, which aspires to establish or expand its businesses and commercial activities there. Cryptoassets and cryptocurrencies have gone from curiosity to direct investment. They have found strong international acceptance and attracted institutional investments from across the world. This requires us to keep pace with this shift towards a new economic era,” Lootah said.

She noted that this agreement with SCA will directly contribute to building solid foundations for our future partnership and to establishing a sound system and procedures to license the trading of cryptoassets and cryptocurrencies in DAFZA, thus supporting the business transactions and operations taking place in Dubai.

It is anticipated that the demand for cryptoassets and cryptocurrencies will accelerate in the near future across the UAE and other GCC states, especially with the continuous rise in their trading volume worldwide.


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