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03 March 2024

RAK Ruler issues Law to establish first free zone dedicated to digital and virtual asset companies

Published
By WAM

RAS AL KHAIMAH, 20th March, 2023 (WAM) -- H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, has issued laws to establish the world’s first free zone dedicated to digital and virtual assets companies.

Established under Law No. 2 of 2023, the Ras Al Khaimah Digital Assets Oasis is an independent governmental authority affiliated with the newly created Department of the Future.

The new law grants RAK Digital Assets Oasis financial, administrative, and legislative independence, allowing it to function as a purpose-built, innovation-enabling free zone in the virtual assets sector.

The Digital Assets Oasis will be the world's first free zone dedicated to digital and virtual asset companies, with a comprehensive, bespoke, innovation-enabling digital asset approach.

In addition to the establishment of RAK Digital Assets Oasis, His Highness Sheikh Saud also announced Law No.1 of 2023, which outlines the establishment of the Department of the Future.

The law aims to bolster economic growth and diversification in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, promote its growing status as a hub for innovation, and enhance its competitiveness as an economic and global destination for business.

The new department will play a pivotal role in promoting innovation and driving the Emirate's economic development in the digital age, positioning Ras Al Khaimah as a leader in innovation and entrepreneurship in the digital and virtual assets sector.

His Highness Sheikh Saud said, “The Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah has been playing a leading role in national efforts to strengthen the UAE’s diversified, sustainable economy. With the nation’s focus on digitalisation and encouraging enterprises of the future, RAK Digital Assets Oasis will serve as the gateway for global digital and virtual assets companies to establish their operations and grow their business.

Our commitment is to provide an inspiring, innovation-centric environment that helps realize bright ideas that have transformational impact on the world.

The new free zone will further cement Ras Al Khaimah’s reputation as a destination of choice for next-generation business ventures and the economy of the future. Ras Al Khaimah’s unique combination of accessibility, agility, and liveability will foster responsible innovation and position the UAE at the forefront in driving the most successful disruptive tech transformations of the coming decades.

We are focused on promoting entrepreneurship, including the digital and virtual assets sector, which thrives on innovation and speed. The new free zone will encourage young talent to implement their powerful ideas for the digital world, as well as drive global digital players to expand their footprint through our free zone, which will add incremental value to the economy by creating new jobs and promoting inward investment. RAK Digital Assets Oasis will be a key economic growth engine for Ras Al Khaimah and the wider region.”

To lead the initiative, Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi has appointed Sheikh Mohammed bin Humaid bin Abdullah Al Qasimi as Chairman and Dr. Sameer Al Ansari as CEO of RAK Digital Assets Oasis. Sheikh Mohammed is the Chairman of RAK International Corporate Centre (RAK ICC) and a Board Member and Managing Director of RAKEZ, while Dr. Sameer Al Ansari is the CEO of RAK ICC and a member of the Board of Directors of Marjan, Ras Al Khaimah's flagship master developer.

Their vast experience in various leadership positions in the Emirate will be invaluable to RAK Digital Assets Oasis in achieving its objectives of promoting entrepreneurship and innovation, attracting national and foreign investments, and creating a flexible business environment that enhances opportunities for success and prosperity.

RAK Digital Assets Oasis will open for applications in the second quarter of 2023, becoming the only free zone in the world exclusively for digital and virtual asset companies that are innovating in new and emerging sectors, such as the metaverse, blockchain, utility tokens, virtual asset wallets, NFTs, DAOs, DApp, and other Web3-related businesses.