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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 Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers [VASPs].
VARA is affiliated to the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority [DWTCA] and is the competent entity in charge of regulating, supervising, and overseeing Virtual Assets and VA Activities in all zones across the Emirate of Dubai, including Special Development Zones and Free Zones but excluding the Dubai International Financial Centre [the Emirate].
As set out in Article 5 of the Dubai VA Law, VARA has the following objectives:
  1. to promote the Emirate as a regional and international hub for Virtual Assets and related services; to boost the competitive edge of the Emirate at the local and international levels; and to develop the digital economy in the Emirate;
  2. to increase awareness on investment in the Virtual Asset services and products sector, and encourage innovation in this sector;
  3. to contribute to attracting investments and encourage companies operating in the field of Virtual Assets to base their business in the Emirate;
  4. to develop the regulations required for the protection of investors and dealers in Virtual Assets, and to endeavour to curb illegal practices in coordination with the concerned entities; and
  5. to develop the regulations, rules and standards required for regulating, supervising, and overseeing Virtual Asset platforms, VASPs, and all other matters related to Virtual Assets.
The Virtual Assets and Related Activities Regulations 2023 [these Regulations] have been enacted with a view to advance the above objectives.
These Regulations set out the regulatory framework governing Virtual Assets and all related activities in the Emirate, including the general and specific supervision and enforcement powers of VARA. VARA may, from time to time, amend these Regulations in its sole and absolute discretion to address emerging risks and continually evolving developments in the global Virtual Asset sector. The most updated version of these Regulations will be made available on VARA’s website.
Capitalised terms in these Regulations have meanings defined herein or as defined in Schedule 4.