All Crypto Service Providers (VASPs) operating within the UAE must apply and register with the SCA, except those with a license in a free economic zone.
VASPs located in the Emirate of Dubai will need to obtain a VARA license.
The SCA is tasked with protecting investors’ funds in virtual assets from any illegal activities, while the local central bank is responsible for virtual assets used in the payment industry.
Companies registered in free economic zones are not subject to SCA regulation.
In February 2023, the government of Ras Al Khaimah announced its plans to create the RAK Digital Assets Oasis for businesses in the digital asset industry.