UAE's crypto and blockchain ecosystem remains bullish

22 May 2023 2 min. read

Despite the current bull market in the global crypto and Web3 landscape, the local scene in the UAE remains bullish, according to a new report by Crypto Oasis, DLT Science Foundation, and Roland Berger.

The ‘Crypto Ecosystem Report’ – now in its second edition – sheds light on the state of the state of the crypto industry, including periphery domains such as blockchain, Web3, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), metaverse, and more.

The report’s market overview shows that the UAE is today home to 1,800 companies and start-ups active in the crypto world, up 17% on six months ago. Together, these organisations employ more than 10,000 professionals, most of which are concentrated across crypto hubs and economic zones in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The Crypto Oasis Ecosystem

Commenting on the UAE’s continued attractiveness to crypto-focused organisations, Pierre Samaties, a partner at Roland Berger (and global leader of the firm’s Digital Assets, Web3 and Metaverse practice), said: “The growth of the UAE digital asset and Web3 ecosystem is very impressive. It is driven by forward looking regulation, a welcoming talent immigration environment and a remarkable appetite from government and institutions to adopt the many opportunities the technology brings.”

In fact, a study released by Recap earlier this year ranked Dubai as the world’s second most attractive crypto hub, behind only London, but ahead of economic powerhouses such as New York, Paris, Berlin, Singapore, Hong Kong, Paris, and Sydney.

“Dubai comes in second place as it pushes to become the leading centre for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in the Middle East, following a year of multiple new laws for crypto exchanges to operate in the city,” Recap said.

Among the laws put in place to boost transparency and financial stability in what still is a highly volatile market in its infancy, Dubai set up Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (Vara) which is responsible for licensing and regulating the sector across Dubai’s mainland and the free zone territories (excluding DIFC).

“The UAE’s regulatory environment, which has been stable, predictable, and favourable, is a key factor contributing to the success of the region’s crypto ecosystem,” said Saqr Ereiqat, co-founder of Crypto Oasis Labs.

He added that the UAE’s “focus on disruptive technologies” in both government and private sector spheres also positions the region as a “modern-day renaissance hub”, attracting companies, start-ups and investors from all corners of the globe.

Many major cryptocurrency firms have already made the emirate their home for regional MENA or even global headquarters, including Bybit, Binance, Capital,, Crypto Oasis, Deribit and others. Meanwhile, last week Coinbase (one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges) unveiled its early plans to setup in the UAE.

According to the tally by the ‘Crypto Ecosystem Report’, native organisations account for 70% of the total number of crypto organisations in the landscape.