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MARKET Notice: Market-wide enforcements pick-up pace as final VARA deadline for Virtual Asset Service Provider licensing engagement lapses

17 Nov 2023
This market notice is being issued by Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) to highlight to all industry stakeholders, and consumers that the deadline for VA sector entities to engage in the regulatory licence application process has now elapsed. As formally announced on 05.November further to multiple advisories since Q2-2023, entities operating within the virtual asset domain were required to commence procedural engagement with VARA on/or before 17.November.2023.

18 Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) - commercially licensed on mainland under Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) - have thus far, been issued fines for failing to comply with VARA’s directives and regulatory guidance. In line with VARA’s commitment to protect consumers, maintain market integrity, and manage security of the Virtual Economy being enabled in and from Dubai, these enforcement actions are a pre-requisite to remedy compliance breaches and assure global markets that VARA’s regime can be trusted to have consistency and resilience in deployment.


VARA would like to emphasise that this is an ongoing process – additional fines, enforcement actions and closure of unlicensed VASPs can be expected in the event regulatory gaps are not actively addressed by year end. Entities seeking to continue to offer virtual asset services in Dubai are urged to contact VARA immediately to avoid further penalties. Consumers are advised to check the VARA website for advice on approved VASPs in Dubai. For further information, please contact VARA via our website or via [email protected]


This notice serves as an official communication from VARA. Non-compliance with VARA regulations can result in significant legal and financial repercussions. We urge all stakeholders to take the necessary steps to ensure full compliance with VARA’s regulatory framework.


Disclaimer: This ALERT represents a notification to the public regarding the 17.Nov.2023 Regulatory deadline, and is not intended to be a substitute for any individuals’ own due diligence. For avoidance of doubt, please seek independent, professional advice.

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