CoinMENA, the Sharia-compliant digital asset exchange company licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain, has obtained a provisional virtual assets license from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) to continue its business operations in Dubai while it undertakes the in-depth process of applying for a license, in accordance with VARA requirements.
VARA, serving as the single custodial entity mandated to license and govern the virtual assets sector in Dubai, including all mainland and free zones, excluding the autonomous Financial Free Zone - Dubai International Financial Centre, is designed as the world’s first participatory governance model with comprehensive legislation and an internationally applicable policy framework. Through this progressive regulatory environment, VARA aims to foster innovation by enabling a new, robust economic sector that further strengthens Dubai’s position as a global financial hub.
Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority, which houses VARA, said, “We are pleased to welcome CoinMENA to the growing virtual asset ecosystem in Dubai. VARA is committed to supporting leading regional enterprises dedicated to building strong foundations for this future economy. We appreciate the knowledge and experience that CoinMENA brings as a platform focused on the MENA region and look forward to their active participation as VARA builds a best-in-class virtual assets regulatory environment in the UAE, for the world.”
CoinMENA has successfully secured two digital assets licenses within its first year of operations, first from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and the second in the European Union. The provisional license from VARA would be the third license and will enable CoinMENA to offer its products and services to institutional investors.
Commenting in a joint statement, CoinMENA Co-Founders Talal Tabbaa and Dina Sam’an said, “VARA has developed a progressive framework within which businesses can work innovatively and securely. As a result of the provisional license issued to CoinMENA by the authority, we will be able to expand our activities and further strengthen our banking relationships within the UAE.”
“We are excited about what this means for the region and CoinMENA. Thanks to the regulatory clarity provided by VARA, all of the leading crypto companies in the world are either already in Dubai or are planning to move there,” Tabbaa said. “We look forward to working with VARA to build a progressive ecosystem that enables users to have safe exposure to the emerging digital assets class.”
“We are immensely proud to have obtained a provisional license from VARA. Regulatory clarity is critical for our users and investors,” Sam’an added. “This allows us to contribute to building a robust regulatory infrastructure, and enable the sustainable growth of the digital economy in the region.”
The issuance of the provisional license from VARA is the latest in a series of milestones achieved by CoinMENA during the past 12 months. The company recently became the first onshore licensed crypto exchange to introduce limit trading. Other highlights include the introduction of USDT withdrawals via the TRON TRC20 network and the addition of eight new digital assets taking the platform’s total to 21.
CoinMENA will continue to add more user-centric features to its platform during the coming weeks and months.