With a clear and decisive pro-crypto approach, #Dubai has become a global hotspot for both blockchain and #Web3. Growing and accelerating the arrival of a new era in terms of economic liberalization we are going to live as digital individuals, where young businessmen and entrepreneurs from Africa, India and Southeast Asia, among other countries, understand this, knowing that cryptocurrencies and the blockchain industry in general will be adopted faster than in developed countries or states, aspiring not to go public with their startup, but to tokenize it.
Opting for a decentralized structure and linked to the web3, undoubtedly positions these #startups at the starting line with greater guarantees of success than a traditional startup. Without headquarters or fixed offices, they now have the whole world to sit in an office and work together with administrators, executives, developers, advisors, etc., in order to move their projects forward. It is true that they are starting to have a strong predilection to settle (in a more traditional way), by setting up a head office in Dubai, because they have a better view of what this industry can bring them, because they are friendly with laws and jurisdictions specific to the sector, and because they are one of the largest business gateways in the world. All around them, there are emerging markets where they can make an impact and all this without having to be aware of regulators, legislation or mandates from agencies such as the SEC.
In recent months, as a result of this favorable approach to cryptocurrencies, along with the desire and proactivity of wanting to formulate policies in line with the development of this technology, founders and CEOs of startups such as #WazirX, #Nischal #Shetty and #Siddharth #Menon, moved to Dubai, consolidating the continuous attraction and retention of entrepreneurial talent from around the world. Incredible as it may seem, it is estimated that more than 1,450 Web3 organizations are active in the #UAE (United Arab Emirates), where India alone has more startups than the UAE across all sectors. The main reason for this growth and key positioning of Dubai (and the UAE), is undoubtedly a new generation of leaders capable of creating innovation-driven policies, and because of the ease of attracting money (e.g. the Cypher Capital Group, which manages around #$100 million, is constantly looking to invest in Web3 start-ups), these are indeed winning positions.
The next Google, Meta or Amazon will come out of this kind of renewed and modern societies, with a pro-crypto stance, and not from oppressed, bureaucratic and corrupt places as most European countries are. All these organizations (1,450) plus the companies that are starting to settle there (many already running thriving, million-dollar businesses such as Binance, Bybit, etc.), not only give branding, expansion and recognition to the UAE in general, and Dubai in particular, but are an inexhaustible source of wealth (they pay taxes, consume resources and enhance entrepreneurship among many things) and are a good source of jobs for the local area (assistants, translators, marketing, ambassadors, cybersecurity, etc.).
Numerous start-ups are also springing up in this region, as their countries’ regulatory environment towards cryptocurrencies is not conducive to their business. It is important to highlight that this type of friendly environments not only allow the development and construction of great technologies, but also allow the establishment of a network of high-level contacts between founders and leaders of multiple crypto projects, closing very important collaboration agreements and strategic synergies. In fact, the government is helping to build the whole ecosystem, boosting the creation of events, issuing licenses in Dubai’s free zones, favoring with local policies the formation of #NFT projects, as well as the trading of accessories and a long etcetera of support.
Earlier this year, Dubai established the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (#VARA), a regulatory body to oversee the development of the virtual and digital asset segment through regulation, licensing and governance, betting on the support and value of the movement to be initiated in the #metaverse sector. Dubai is working on a strategy based on the metaverse, with the goal of making it one of the top 10 economies in the world, starting with training through academies within the metaverse itself, from where promotions with the ability to create companies, platforms and virtual worlds will emerge.
A challenge loaded with a good dose of ambition, it is not always easy to operate in Dubai, as the high cost of living makes it difficult for new projects to grow at a good pace. The (general) lack of tech talent also makes it difficult for startups to develop in Dubai, as well as opening an account with local banks also has its degree of difficulty. All these operational challenges are something that entrepreneurs are used to overcoming, thanks in part to the entrepreneurial DNA, more so when the opportunity is greater than the challenge.
Dubai has it right, and I like that. If it continues to support these startups, helping them to grow successfully, it will become the world capital of the digital economy, benefiting from the network effect that this generates by the companies themselves and the venture funds that go after the talent and innovation. Fully integrating blockchain technology and AI in its own organizations, companies and governments will be a whole example of determination for the rest of the countries and states. I leave as a reflection that fighting against the internet in its day and opposing its implementation and use, created a great digital divide in those countries that took this stance. Today, these countries spend many millions of euros or dollars in providing resources to make their citizens digitally literate, a bill that in the end is costing them dearly.
“Let’s not do the same with blockchain technology, tokenization and cryptocurrencies, as taking certain blocking and punishing stances in the face of a new digital era could definitely be considered highly irresponsible”.