Pioneering responsible innovation in the virtual asset industry

As the world's first independent regulator for virtual assets, VARA serves as a transparent and trusted guiding authority for the emerging world of virtual assets. VARA aims to take its mission global by creating an easy to replicate framework to regulate the industry.

Established in March 2022, following the effect of Law No.4 of 2022, VARA is the competent entity in charge of regulating, supervising, and overseeing VAs and VA Activities in all zones across the Emirate of Dubai, including Special Development Zones and Free Zones but excluding the Dubai International Financial Centre. VARA plays a central role in creating Dubai's advanced legal framework to protect investors and establish international standards for Virtual Asset industry governance, while supporting the vision for a borderless economy.

Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), has issued its Virtual Assets and Related Activities Regulations 2023. The Regulations set out a comprehensive Virtual Asset (VA) Framework built on principles of economic sustainability and cross-border financial security. The UAE has remained committed to enabling these drivers safely, updating its oversight and regulatory approach, addressing global risks of money laundering (ML) and terrorist financing (TF), arising from the potential misuse of new technologies. The VA Framework is structurally designed to offer regulatory certainty – allowing the market to have greater clarity on the expected level of operator responsibility. It also mandates gold-standard risk assurance and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) standards to be applied by licensed entities within the Emirate.


VARA aims to take its mission global by creating an easy to replicate framework to regulate the industry.

To position Dubai as a regional and international hub for Virtual Assets and related services and to develop a digital economy in the city to boost its competitive edge locally and internationally.

To promote a shared responsibility in developing efficient and bespoke regulations for the protection of customers and to curb illegal practices in coordination with the concerned entities.

To promote the new world of Virtual Assets and attract investments and businesses to set up their base in the Emirate of Dubai.

To empower customers and increase awareness about Virtual Asset services and products and encourage innovation to promote real opportunity.

To develop the regulations, rules and standards required for regulating, supervising, and overseeing Virtual Asset Platforms, Virtual Asset Service Providers and all other matters related to Virtual Assets.

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VARA is dedicated to the creation of an advanced VA framework that protects investors, sets global governance standards, and supports Dubai's vision for a borderless economy. Through investor protection and market transparency we proudly reinforce Dubai's position as a global capital for advanced technologies. In providing an enhanced level of regulator security and investor protection, we are setting new benchmarks and enabling the adoption of industry best practices, across the UAE, the Middle East - and the world.

Helal Saeed Almarri