Press Release

VARA moves to full-market operations with leadership transition - Matthew White to take over from Henson Orser as new CEO

16 Nov 2023
Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) is pleased to announce Matthew White as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to lead VARA through its next phase of ramp up to full scale market operations this year.

Matthew brings deep subject-matter expertise in technology and digital trust, with over 20 years of global advisory experience including his current tenure as a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. This planned leadership transition will be seamlessly facilitated over the coming months as incumbent CEO Henson Orser will remain fully engaged to support Matthew’s effective integration into the role.


Having concluded a successful term managing VARA through its launch, Henson will have overseen the establishment of this specialist regulatory regime. His commitment to VARA is steadfast as he will remain available in a consultative capacity hereon, highlighting the strong collaboration between both parties.


The VARA senior management team has begun the operational transition to guarantee smooth business operations, and maintain stability during this leadership change. This well-planned transition will ensure the Authority’s continued stability and growth acceleration going forward.



About Matthew White


Matthew White boasts an illustrious career spanning more than 20 years in the technology domain. His leadership has significantly impacted tech transformations and the protection of digital assets. As the head of the Cybersecurity and Digital Trust team at PwC, he oversaw its expansion to over 100 specialists and played a foundational role in VARA's establishment. An alumnus of MIT Sloan School of Management and the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, White's academic credentials are a testament to his prowess.


Apart from his corporate roles, White has showcased his innovative spirit as the co-founder of two startups – 'decent' and 'Clubbie.' His expertise is frequently sought in the public domain, making him an influential voice in technology, deep-tech and digital trust.

Recent News
VARA In The News

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

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.

Read more17 Nov 2023