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UAE’s stock market regulator approves crypto asset trading

UAE's stock market regulator, approves crypto asset trading
Jordan Major

The UAE Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) and the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) have agreed to facilitate cryptocurrency asset trading and associated financial operations inside the DWTCA’s freezone.

By way of illustration, the agreement creates a framework for DWTCA to grant the required permissions and licenses for financial operations using crypto assets. Thus, SCA shall manage, monitor, and inspect firms operating within DWTCA’s freezone, according to the statement on its website.

DWTCA struck the deal to extend its ongoing business licenses, products, and offerings. As part of the agreement, the SCA will manage the regulatory monitoring of the issuance, offering, listing, and trading of crypto assets in conjunction with DWTCA and the licensing of the associated financial activities that come within DWTCA’s authority.

A regulated ecosystem both locally and globally

The DWTCA provides a well-regulated ecosystem for businesses interested in local and international markets, as the freezone allows startups, SMEs, and enterprises to operate locally while reaching worldwide markets. 

Acting chief executive officer of SCA, Dr. Maryam Al Suwaidi, said: 

“The SCA will be responsible for the regulatory supervision of offering, issuing, trading, and listing crypto assets and the licensing of financial activities related to them within the limits of the DWTCA freezone. The SCA will also supervise, control, and investigate the licensed entities that operate within the free zone.”

Meanwhile, Helal Saeed Almarri, director-general of Dubai World Trade Centre Authority and Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), stated:

“As Dubai continues its drive towards an innovation and digital-led economy, DWTCA is looking to support businesses underpinned by blockchain and cryptographic technologies. Our agreement with the Securities and Commodities Authority will allow DWTCA to broaden its regulatory, licenses, and services capabilities, in addition to extending the centralized supervision of the crypto market to our freezone.”

Almarri also noted that the emergence of new technologies such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) would play a significant part in the future of commerce; hence, the DWTCA is looking at methods to provide a sustainable home for this ecosystem to remain future-ready.


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