Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) has announced its intention to launch RAK Digital Assets Oasis, the world’s first free zone dedicated to digital and virtual asset companies.
The announcement was made at the Blockchain Life 2023 event on February 27.
The RAK Digital Assets Oasis will be a purpose-built, innovation-enabling free zone for non-regulated activities in the new and emerging sectors, such as the metaverse, blockchain, and NFTs. The oasis will start accepting applications in the second quarter of 2023, according to a government statement.
Read more: RAK: Experiential tourism meets cohesive sustainability
“We are proud to further the UAE’s position as a primary destination for innovation with the launch of RAK Digital Assets Oasis”, said Sheikh Mohammed Al Qasimi, chairman of RAK ICC, the operator of the free zone.
“We are building the free zone of the future for companies of the future. As the world’s first free zone solely dedicated to digital and virtual asset companies, we look forward to supporting the ambitions of entrepreneurs from around the world.”
Free zones, also known as free trade zones, are economic areas in which business owners own 100% of their companies and enjoy preferential tax treatment.
The UAE has been investing heavily in infrastructure development and policy reforms in order to attract more entrepreneurs and businesses to the country as it seeks to expand its non-oil sector.
The national digital economy is expected to grow to more than $140 billion in 2031, up from nearly $38 billion now, according to a report released this month by the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy.
Meanwhile, the country’s regulatory agencies have been enacting legislation to streamline and supervise the digital asset industry.
In March 2022, Dubai passed the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulation Law with the goal of creating an advanced legal framework to protect investors and provide international standards for virtual asset industry governance that promotes responsible business growth in the emirate.
For more on tech news, click here.