The move reflects the United Arab Emirates’ dedication to the New Economy and its belief in the security and sustainability of Web3 ecosystems.
Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) announced its entry into the Metaverse. It is an unprecedented first, as it becomes the first Regulatory Authority (RA) in the world to enter the Metaverse.
The move is highlighted by the establishment of VARA MetaHQ in the fastest-growing decentralized virtual world, “The Sandbox.” The Sandbox’s official Twitter account itself made the announcement.
Founded in 2011, The Sandbox is the leading platform where those desiring to purchase plots and lands in the Metaverse go. They have over four million downloads worldwide and a $93 million investment from SoftBank.
On the other hand, VARA is touted as the world’s first specialized regulator for the virtual assets (VA) sector. Under Law No. 4 of 2022, VARA is responsible for licensing and regulating Dubai’s and its free zone territories’ (excluding DIFC) VA sector. It also handles all licensing requirements and authorization applications for VA activities under the laws of the UAE.
What This Move Means for Dubai
Being the world’s first RA to journey into the Metaverse, VARA aims to ensure that the industry can access the RA anytime. It also seeks to accelerate collaborative engagement among global Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs), industry thought leaders, and international regulatory authorities (IRA).
The move will give the VA sector a secure and progressive operating framework to scale while ensuring the market and investors are protected. Likewise, VARA is looking to control the prevailing principles of the services and activities instead of the ever-evolving products and core technologies.
This brave move shows the Dubai government’s trust in the integral role that VAs play in the future of the digital economy and its willingness to develop the Emirate as the VA capital of the world.
The Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, personally inaugurated the VARA MetaHQ on The Sandbox.
“Dubai maintains a leading position at the forefront of technological transformation. We have exceeded the role of an early adopter to become an innovator and participant in shaping the future of this technology,” His Highness said in his speech.
“Today, VARA joins the Metaverse to become Dubai’s and the Metaverse’s first government authority, ushering in a new era in which Dubai Government utilizes modern innovations to extend its services and regulatory power to audiences in an open technological expanse, without constraints or borders.”
VARA MetaHQ will serve as a primary channel for engaging VASPs worldwide to initiate applications and encourage younger licensees to enter the Metaverse. It also aims to willingly share knowledge and experience to raise awareness, encourage safe adoption, and promote global interoperability with consumers and peer regulators.
His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai World Trade Centre Authority, commented, “Dubai views the virtual asset industry as the driver of the global future economy. VARA has been established at a pivotal moment in response to the expansion of the Emirate’s incredibly sophisticated and modern legal framework regulating virtual asset activities.”
“VARA’s acquiring land in the Sandbox is symbolic of our belief in this sector, and the onus is on us as government to be the bridge that allows investors and consumers to safely adopt and collaboratively scale the economy. “
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