dubai virtual assets regulatory authority

The new regime specifies licensing and reporting requirements for a range of activities related to virtual assets in the Emirate of Dubai.

By Brian A. Meenagh, Matthew Rodwell, and Ksenia Koroleva

On February 7, 2023, the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulation Authority (VARA) adopted the Virtual Assets and Related Activities Regulations 2023 (the Regulations) together with four compulsory and seven activity-specific rulebooks.

VARA adopted these Regulations further to Dubai Law No. 4 of March 11, 2022 on the Regulation of Virtual Assets in the Emirate of Dubai (the Law) (for more information, see Latham’s blog post).

The Law granted VARA powers to regulate activities relating to virtual assets in the Emirate of Dubai (excluding the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC); DIFC has its own regime regulating virtual assets — see Latham’s blog post).

The Law laid down key definitions (such as the definitions of virtual assets (VAs) and distributed ledger technology (DLT)), and provided a broad list of activities requiring a license. The Law entitled VARA to adopt regulations for all relevant activities and VAs.