The Dubai virtual assets regulator, the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), has established its metaverse headquarters in The Sandbox virtual world. By establishing a presence in the metaverse, the regulator said it hopes to make itself accessible to all stakeholders.

World’s ‘Virtual Assets Capital’

Dubai’s digital assets regulator, the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), has established its metaverse headquarters (HQ) in the virtual world of The Sandbox, a statement from the regulator has said. The regulator said its objective for setting up the metaverse HQ is to ensure VARA “is accessible to its industry in their environment.”

VARA is also expected to help facilitate engagement between virtual asset service providers (VASPs), industry influencers, and global regulators. According to the statement, by making this move, the Dubai regulator is signaling a willingness to make the Emirate “the world’s Virtual Assets Capital.”

Maintaining Dubai’s Lead

In remarks following the announcement, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, said:

“Dubai maintains a leading position at the forefront of technological transformation. We have exceeded the role of an early adopter to become an innovator and participant in shaping the future of this technology. Today, VARA joins the metaverse to become Dubai’s – and the metaverse’s – first government authority, ushering in a new era in which [the] Dubai government utilises modern innovations to extend its services and regulatory power to audiences in an open technological expanse, without constraints or borders.”

Sheikh Hamdan added that by establishing the metaverse HQ, VARA has created a decentralized regulatory model that allows stakeholders to share or exchange knowledge, and solve problems collectively.

Helal Saeed Almarri, the director-general at the Dubai World Trade Center Authority, said: “As the first niche regulator for the VA [virtual assets] sector globally, VARA’s Metaverse HQ also makes the UAE the first jurisdiction to enter this platform, reflecting our leadership’s aspiration to facilitate a borderless new market enabling sustainable economic freedom.”

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