The United Arab Emirates (UAE), more commonly known as Dubai in most parts of the world, will be the first country in the world to launch a Free Zone that is dedicated specifically for businesses that deal in digital or virtual assets – known as “RAK Digital Assets Oasis”. One of the Emirates in the UAE, RAS AL KHAIMAH, launched this Virtual Assets Free Zone. Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is the largest metropolis and capital of the United Arab Emirates emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. It is the sixth largest metropolis in the United Arab Emirates, following Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Al Ain, and Ajman.

Dubai adopted the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulation Law in March of 2016, which seeks to establish an advanced legal framework to protect investors and provide international standards for virtual asset industry governance, thereby promoting responsible business growth in the emirate. It also established the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (Vara) as an independent body to regulate the sector across Dubai, excluding the Dubai International Financial Centre, but including special development zones and free zones.

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority, the regulator of Abu Dhabi’s financial center, the Abu Dhabi Global Market, published its approach to virtual asset regulation and supervision along with its expectations for the asset class and service providers in the sector in September of last year.


The United Arab Emirates, also called the Emirates, is a country in Western Asia (The Middle East). It is at the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula and has land borders with Oman and Saudi Arabia. It also has sea borders with Qatar and Iran in the Persian Gulf. Abu Dhabi is the country’s capital, and Dubai, which has the most people, is a place where people from all over the world meet. The United Arab Emirates is an elective monarchy consisting of seven federated emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm Al Quwain. Each emirate is ruled by an emir, who collectively comprise the Federal Supreme Council. The members of the Federal Supreme Council elect from among themselves a president and vice president. In practice, the emir of Abu Dhabi serves as president, while the ruler of Dubai holds the positions of vice president and prime minister. In 2013, the country had a total population of 9.2 million, of which 1.4 million were citizens and 7.8 million were foreigners. In 2020, the United Arab Emirates is projected to have a population of approximately 9.9 million people.


During Blockchain Life 2023, the Government of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) made the announcement that it intended to establish the RAK Digital Assets Oasis. This will be a tax-free zone that is exclusively dedicated for businesses dealing in digital and virtual assets. Commenting on the new free zone, Sheikh Mohammed bin Humaid bin Abdullah Al Qasimi, chairman of RAK ICC and chairman of RAK Digital Assets Oasis, said, “With the introduction of RAK Digital Assets Oasis, we are proud to strengthen the UAE’s position as a leading destination for innovation. We are building the free zone of the future for the companies of the future. As the world’s first free zone solely dedicated to digital and virtual asset companies, we look forward to supporting the ambitions of entrepreneurs from around the world. We look forward to doing so with our progressive, supportive, and quick-to-adapt approach, and our innovation-enabling environment.”

Making the announcement, Dr. Sameer Al Ansari, CEO of RAK ICC and CEO of Digital Assets Oasis, said: “I am privileged to help implement the forward-thinking vision of the leadership of Ras Al Khaimah. We hope to enable, foster, and promote innovation in new and emerging sectors of the future. With the UAE’s established reputation as an innovation hub, RAK Digital Assets Oasis delivers a unique offering to global entrepreneurs. As a result, we hope to bring together an unmatched combination of accessibility and livability. This will be supported by Ras Al Khaimah’s business-friendly infrastructure, progressive policies, and an international lifestyle offering.”

He also stated that “We look forward to welcoming the world’s brightest Web3 minds with their most disruptive ideas that uncover new approaches to creating a better future, and we are committed to empowering the next generation of global entrepreneurial talent to build transformative solutions and create impact, while shaping the future of businesses and economies.”


RAK Digital Assets Oasis will be a purpose-built free zone for non-regulated activities in the virtual assets sector. It is intended to be the only free zone in the world solely dedicated to digital and virtual assets service providers innovating in new and emerging sectors of the future including;

  • The Metaverse, 
  • Blockchain, 
  • Utility tokens,
  • Virtual asset wallets, 
  • DeFi & Fintech,
  • NFTs, 
  • DAOs, 
  • DApp, and other Web3-related businesses. 

The distinctive lifestyle proposition of RAK DIGITAL ASSETS OASIS will aid businesses in establishing robust, innovation-enabling adoption frameworks. In addition, it will offer advisory and professional services, hybrid workspaces, accelerators and incubators, sandboxes, and funding access. Overall, it will foster an atmosphere that inspires entrepreneurs to imagine, create, and evolve. 

The free zone aligns with the UAE’s status as a leading innovation destination. RAK Digital Assets Oasis will be a globally connected, remote-work-friendly hub for digital and virtual asset companies. Particularly those developing innovative business models for the future that are well-positioned to capitalize on the region’s emerging markets. This new freezone offers a wide range of benefits including:

  • 100% foreign ownership.
  • 100% repatriation of profits and capital.
  • 0% corporate and personal income tax.

These advantages, coupled with the UAE’s strategic location, world-class infrastructure, and business-friendly environment, make RAK Digital Assets Oasis an ideal location for businesses seeking to enter the digital asset and cryptocurrency markets.

The market for digital assets and cryptocurrencies is rapidly expanding and transforming, with new opportunities arising daily. By establishing your company in RAK Digital Assets Oasis, you will be in a prime position to capitalize on these opportunities and remain ahead of the competition. RAK Digital Assets Oasis provides a variety of services to help you grow your business, including access to top-tier advisors and service providers, cutting-edge infrastructure, and a community of like-minded businesses and entrepreneurs.

A major benefit of RAK Digital Assets Oasis is its emphasis on regulatory compliance. The freezone is committed to maintaining the highest compliance standards and developing a comprehensive regulatory framework to ensure that businesses operating in the freezone comply with all local and international regulations. This commitment to compliance not only ensures that your business operates in accordance with the law, but also fosters customer and stakeholder confidence.

In conclusion, Ras al Khaimah has garnered a reputation as a global hub that is friendly to business. The emirate possesses political stability and an approach that is progressive, supportive, and quick to adapt, all of which are advantageous to businesses.

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