Round-Up: Crypto businesses in DMCC, new types of UAE residency visas, and number of new DIFC firms grows 20%


DMCC Crypto Centre

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) has announced it will establish a regulatory framework for businesses offering, issuing, listing, and trading crypto-related assets.

The “DMCC Crypto Centre” intends to issue bespoke licenses for firms in the crypto space after signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA). The two authorities will collaborate to approve applicants looking to set-up in the industry and promote the development of blockchain applications in UAE.

The SCA will regulate crypto activities in line with the policies that were introduced in October 2020 (you can see these here) to provide an integrated and sustainable ecosystem for the crypto and blockchain industry.

Through this agreement with the SCA, DMCC is expanding its current range of crypto assets licences, which perfectly complement the existing business licence options… This agreement also builds the foundation for our future partnerships in the crypto space and is a major step in the launch of the DMCC Crypto Centre, which we will bring to the market in the near future,” said Ahmed Bin Sulayem, executive chairman and CEO of DMCC.

“As we continue to make strides within the crypto and blockchain space, DMCC is making it easier for crypto and blockchain businesses to set up and operate in Dubai. Cutting-edge technologies are at the forefront of our strategy and they will play an instrumental role in driving increased trade through Dubai in the future.

By working with SCA, we are able to extend the centralised supervision of the crypto market to our business district in the heart of Dubai, bolstering its standing as a hub for crypto assets.”

New remote working visas announced

The UAE government has announced a new self-sponsored “Remote Work Visa” that will enable employees from all over the world to live and work remotely from the UAE, even if their companies are based overseas.

The visa, which will be valid for one year at a time, aims to support the public and private sector and also enables employees/employers to expand their digital skills and adapt to the emerging gig economy.

The UAE Cabinet also approved a self-sponsored multiple entry tourist visa for all nationalities. The five-year visa enables tourists to enter multiple times on self-sponsorship and remain in the country for 90 days on each visit, which can be extended for another 90 days.

20% increase in new companies registering in DIFC

There are now 2,914 firms operating out of DIFC according to the financial Free-Zone, representing a 20% growth over the last year.

However, DIFC Investments, controlled by Dubai’s tax-free business hub, posted a 74 per cent drop in profit. Full-year profit net income fell to $31m from $118m a year ago, while revenue declined about 8 per cent to $186m.

This is in part due to the relief measures provided to entities operating in DIFC to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. It included a reduction in application fees, waiver of registration fees, and temporary relief from capital requirements.