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Ras Al Khaimah Launches Digital Asset Zone to Challenge Dubai, Abu Dhabi

Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, launches RAK Digital Assets Oasis, a digital trade zone for blockchain, metaverse, and AI projects, aiming to diversify its economy.

Key Takeaways

  • Ras Al Khaimah introduces RAK Digital Assets Oasis, a digital asset free trade zone.
  • The zone focuses on blockchain, metaverse, and AI developments.
  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi attended the official launch.
  • The initiative aims to diversify the economy beyond tourism and oil.

New Masters In Web3 Landscape

Ras Al Khaimah, one of the United Arab Emirates’ seven emirates, has unveiled its ambitious plan to establish the RAK Digital Assets Oasis, a free trade zone dedicated to digital assets and technologies. This move mirrors the footsteps of its more prominent counterparts, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, as it aims to become a prominent player in the emerging web3 landscape.

The RAK Digital Assets Oasis is designed to serve as an incubator and supporter of developments in blockchain, metaverse, and artificial intelligence (AI). It marks a significant shift in the emirate’s economic strategy, diverting its focus from traditional sectors like tourism and oil towards the burgeoning digital ecosystem.

The official launch event of this web3 hub garnered the presence of Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, the city’s ruler, prominent business leaders from across the UAE, and founders of web3 startups. The vision for this digital asset hub began taking shape in March, with a particular emphasis on hosting companies involved in decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and digital wallets.

Economic Growth?

Sheikh Saud expressed Ras Al Khaimah’s commitment to embracing new technologies and driving sustainable economic growth in the region. He encouraged global investors to establish their presence in the zone, emphasizing its role in supporting digitization for sustainable economic progress. Dr. Sameer Al Ansari, the CEO of RAK Digital Assets Oasis, revealed that the free trade zone would offer incentives such as grants, tax relief, and regulatory and technical support to attract businesses.

Additional benefits for businesses in the zone include rent subsidies, a dedicated blockchain pool for web3 firms, comprehensive business development support, and a clear legal framework for the digital asset ecosystem. Ras Al Khaimah aims to leverage digitization to create jobs for its residents and enhance its contribution to the UAE’s gross domestic product (GDP).

While Ras Al Khaimah currently lags behind Dubai and Abu Dhabi in terms of experience in operating digital asset free trade zones, it is determined to carve out its niche in the web3 landscape. Abu Dhabi’s Global Market (ADGM) already hosts numerous web3 startups, backed by a substantial $2 billion initiative, while Dubai is home to leading global cryptocurrency exchanges.

To Conclude

The launch of the RAK Digital Assets Oasis signals Ras Al Khaimah’s ambition to become a prominent player in the rapidly evolving world of web3 technologies. By embracing blockchain, metaverse, and AI, the emirate is diversifying its economy and reducing its dependence on traditional sectors.

This move not only opens new doors for businesses but also positions Ras Al Khaimah as a vital hub for digital innovation in the United Arab Emirates, challenging the established dominance of Dubai and Abu Dhabi in this space.

The incentives and support offered to businesses in the zone showcase the emirate’s commitment to fostering a thriving web3 ecosystem. It will be fascinating to see how Ras Al Khaimah’s digital journey unfolds and its impact on the region’s digital landscape.