With the UAE being one of the earliest believers in blockchain and cryptocurrency technology, it makes sense why so many Web3 companies, both big and small, are making the Gulf nation their home.
After all, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the capital city’s international financial centre, became the first jurisdiction in the world to develop and implement a comprehensive virtual asset regulatory framework all the way back in 2018, courtesy of the efforts of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), which operates out of ADGM. Dubai followed suit earlier this year.
To support the growth of these companies, many ecosystem stakeholders have stepped up to boost the UAE’s Web3 sector. Here is a list of entities, programmes, VCs, and other organisations supporting Web3 companies in the UAE.
Free crypto domains for all women residing in Abu Dhabi
The blockchain space received one of its largest boosts this month when Access Abu Dhabi, a programme powered by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), partnered with Web3 identity platform and NFT domain name provider Unstoppable Domains to provide free crypto domains to all women residing in the UAE capital. The giveaway aims to provide opportunities for more women to learn about and ultimately participate in Web3, a space where only 5% to 7% of all cryptocurrency users are women and just 12% work in blockchain.
The initiative stands to become a life-changing opportunity for women of Abu Dhabi to capitalise on Web3 opportunities. It provides them with a decentralised web address and digital identity that gives them complete control of their data and content within a space that they fully own, as opposed to Web2 domains, which are leased for fixed periods through third-party brokers.
Women in Abu Dhabi can visit this link to get their free domain.
MetaIncubator is the first Metaverse Incubator in the Middle East, based in Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), and its goal is to incubate early-stage Metaverse and Web3 projects through Dubai as a hub. It provides engineering, tokenomics, marketing, and investment services to startups. It also helps startups that want to get into the growing MENA regions.
MetaIncubator will hold events to connect projects, investors, engineers, and the public. It also it has a skill-sharing network aimed at making it easier for users to find, connect and collaborate with other members.
For more information, visit metaincubator.com.
Regulators: Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) & Dubai World Trade Centre Authority
As the entities in charge of virtual assets regulations, and generally your go-to destination for all things Web3-related in their respective emirates, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) and Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) are always launching new initiatives, programmes and ecosystem regulations that are relevant to any company operating within this space, in addition to providing attractive business incentives.
The FSRA, for example, hosts the Regulatory Laboratory (RegLab) sandbox programme for fintechs, which focuses on innovation in financial services powered by decentralised applications and protocols.
The Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA), on the other hand, has recently signed a cooperation agreement with Binance, the international blockchain and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider, to establish a new international Virtual Asset ecosystem that enhances Dubai's position as a global hub for the industry and generates long-term economic growth through digital innovation.
Cypher Capital, a private venture capital firm rooted in the UAE and MENA region, announced earlier this year the launch of one of the region's biggest seed funds. The $100 million seed fund will focus on investments in blockchain, crypto and other digital asset projects which have genuine value propositions.
Cypher Capital also plans to take a very hands-on approach when it comes to mentoring the projects that it invests in and equipping entrepreneurs with the tools they need to succeed. Its 10,000 square foot crypto, blockchain and digital asset hub, under construction in JBR Dubai, is anticipated to be completed in August 2022, which will welcome crypto enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and startups, offering exclusive access and get-togethers for its members and the community.
You can learn more here.
Another VC focused on the Web3 sector, NewTribe Capital invests in early-stage blockchain and crypto projects and provides long-term support by creating a healthy partnership with them.
Most recently, NewTribe Capital announced that it is set to invest $5 million in NEAR Protocol ecosystem projects, with the aim of boosting the NEAR ecosystem’s growth in the UAE and globally. NEAR Protocol is a layer-1 blockchain that uses Nightshade, a unique sharding technology, to achieve scalability. It was launched in 2020 as a decentralized cloud infrastructure to host decentralized applications (DApps).
The VC has already commenced its investments in several NEAR Protocol projects such as Attarius Network, Jumbo Exchange, and YouMinter, and will be announcing others soon.
You can learn more here.