Dubai’s VARA outlines new virtual asset framework
Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) has outlined a new virtual asset framework designed to enhance economic sustainability and cross-border financial security.
VARA says the new framework will offer “regulatory certainty”, giving market participants greater clarity around their responsibilities.
It also compels market participants to adhere to “gold-standard” risk assurance and anti-money laundering (AML) standards.
Virtual asset service providers, licence applicants and new market entrants will be offered a route towards licensing under the framework, with all virtual asset service providers required to register with VARA and become fully compliant with the new rules.
The new regulatory framework covers seven licensed virtual asset activities: advisory services; broker-dealer services; custodial services; exchange services; lending and borrowing services; payments and remittances; and virtual asset management and investment services.
Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of Dubai’s department of economy and tourism, and chairman of VARA’s executive board, says VARA’s “first-of-its-kind” virtual asset framework is structured to accelerate the nation’s “New Economy” agenda, supporting secure and sustainable growth.
“This custom-designed construct reflects UAE’s commitment to building responsible safeguards, and Dubai’s confidence in delivering a progressive VA ecosystem that nurtures next-gen innovation.”