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The Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority [VARA] was established and authorised by Law No. [4] of 2022 Regulating Virtual Assets in the Emirate of Dubai [Dubai VA Law] to regulate Virtual Asset Service Providers [VASPs].
This Custody Services Rulebook is issued pursuant to, and forms part of, the Virtual Assets and Related Activities Regulations 2023 [the Regulations] issued by VARA and applies to all VASPs Licensed by VARA to carry out Custody Services in the Emirate.
This Custody Services Rulebook applies in addition to all other requirements in the Regulations as may be in force from time to time. As such, VASPs Licensed by VARA to carry out Custody Services must also comply with the following Rulebooks applicable to all VASPs:
  1. Company Rulebook;
  2. Compliance and Risk Management Rulebook;
  3. Technology and Information Rulebook;
  4. Market Conduct Rulebook; and
  5. All Rulebooks specific to the VA Activities that a VASP is Licensed by VARA to carry out.
As stated in Rule III.B.5 of this Custody Services Rulebook, VASPs providing Custody Services must be an independent legal Entity - separate from any member of their Group that provides other VA Activities or linked services. Where a VASP’s Group is Licensed by VARA to carry out other VA Activities in the Emirate in addition to Custody Services, it must comply with all Rulebooks that apply to each of those other VA Activities. Unless otherwise stated, the Rules in VA Activity-specific Rulebooks apply collectively for each VA Activity the VASP carries out.
Capitalised terms in this Custody Services Rulebook have the meanings ascribed to them in the Regulations or as otherwise provided in Schedule 1.