The UAE is setting the stage for Crypto and Blockchain Unicorns

UAE sets the stage for Crypto and Blockchain Unicorns

Had your fill of FUD? The cryptocurrency market has been reeling and reflecting on the aftershock of the LUNA-UST fallout (and rightly so) but there are reasons to remain positive about the long-term health of Crypto and Blockchain. Determined to prove the real-world applications of Blockchain technology, accelerate adoption and attract the biggest players to the region, the UAE and particularly Dubai continues to rally on all fronts in support of businesses capable of achieving the coveted Unicorn status.

At the World Economic Forum last week it was clear to see a growing number of Crypto and Blockchain projects leading conversations around the emerging role of the decentralised finance market and outlining the influential role Blockchain technology can play in eradicating world poverty. During the Davos WEF, Crypto Oasis also took the opportunity to announce that over 1000 crypto and Blockchain companies have set up their operations in UAE, a target previously reserved to be achieved by the end of 2022. This prompted Crypto Oasis to change its target to 1500 by the end of 2022. As part of the ecosystem Evai became the first global platinum ecosystem partner and established its global HQ at the DMCC Crypto Centre in June 2021 and the team have witnessed first-hand the rapid growth and supportive framework.

Crypto regulatory framework is attracting the major players 

So, Dubai is fast moving and established crypto brands from Binance to Kraken and more recently are being attracted to the region. They are seeking to secure licenses and collaborate with regulators on building regulation that serves the dual purpose of helping businesses to thrive, while ensuring investors remain protected.

The region is also capturing the imagination of OGs linked to the crypto sector as we witnessed during a recent episode of The Bull Run. Early Bitcoin investor and serial entrepreneur Karthik Iyer visited the DMCC Crypto Centre and observed that, “Dubai has become the centre of the crypto universe.” The excitement Karthik feels towards the Crypto and Blockchain sector in the region is clearly a credible temperature check from someone who has been around since the early days of Bitcoin mining and featured in the top 200 Fintech influencer list, top 25 Blockchain thought leaders list and mentors dozens of deep tech startups across 4 continents.

Dubai Metaverse strategy aims to support job creation and economic growth

In the past month, the UAE, and Dubai also made headlines on various fronts. First Dubai announced its metaverse strategy. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,Crown Prince of Dubai, announced that the higher committee had started work on key pillars and the objectives of the Dubai Metaverse Strategy. The strategy aims to increase the contribution of the metaverse sector to Dubai’s economy to $4 billion by 2030 and increase its contribution to Dubai’s GDP to 1 percent, as well as support 42,000 virtual jobs. Even Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority was the first globally to set up its headquarters in the SandBox Metaverse.

Crypto payment methods are being woven into the customer experience

While the above showcases high level initiatives, the UAE crypto economy is trickling far deeper into the day to day lives of UAE residents and the private sector. This is clearly visible as companies such as Majed Al Futtaim, a well-known shopping mall, retail and leisure pioneer, has partnered with Binance for both NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens) development and crypto payments within UAE. This comes at a time when property developers such as DAMAC announced they had sold 50 million USD worth of property via crypto payments with Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Promoting inclusion and providing a supportive framework

Meanwhile in Abu Dhabi, ADIO (Abu Dhabi Investment Office) has partnered with Unstoppable Domains to offer, free crypto, NFT and blockchain domains to all women residing in Abu Dhabi, given that in the crypto space today only 5 per cent to 7 per cent of all cryptocurrency users are women and just 12 per cent work in blockchain.

All this culminates in the building of unicorns from the region specifically from the UAE. The UAE launched its Entrepreneurial Nation initiative. H.E. Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy stated that the initiative aims to provide a catalytic environment for the development and incubation of 20 unicorns in the country by 2031.

Matt Dixon, Founder and CEO of, said, “The crypto market may have turned down in recent weeks, but the focus shown by the crypto community in the UAE has remained bullish with project founders, regulators, investors and major crypto brands remaining focused on delivering growth and innovation. While we are going through a cycle of change that may signal the end of some well know projects the foundations are being put in place that will set the scene for the emergence of Crypto and Blockchain unicorns. With our universal use case and ambitious team, let’s see if Evai can become one of them.”

So, despite the bearish global scene, Crypto and Blockchain companies in the UAE continue to flourish and set a positive outlook for the future…crypto unicorns, here we come.