The Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) has announced plans to establish a headquarters in The Sandbox metaverse.
According to the regulator, the initiative will mark the first phase of a march by the Dubai government towards the metaverse and new social interactions through the digital reality environment.
“Our presence in the metaverse marks the beginning of a new phase in the Dubai government’s march into the future; one that will have a positive impact in the long term,” said Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council.
Dubai in the Metaverse
VARA did not make it clear how it will act in the metaverse. However, it highlighted that it intends to use the digital environment to allow more interaction with its citizens and other stakeholders.
“So they can openly share knowledge and experiences with consumers and regulators to raise awareness, enable secure adoption and drive global interoperability.”
The location of the HQ within The Sandbox has yet to be revealed.
VARA was launched in early March to create an advanced legal framework and regulatory system for virtual assets in Dubai and the rest of the UAE.
Thus, companies wishing to operate in the UAE must not only have a commercial presence in the country, but also obtain a license from VARA, which also regulates the activities of custodians and asset managers in the cryptocurrency space.
In this sense, VARA’s actions are not just that of a regulator, but are also part of the government’s attempts to turn Dubai into a hub of virtual assets and the digital economy.
To that end, Dubai government policies have already been successful, having lured several large companies away from Singapore, such as Bybit and Three Arrows Capital.