Stay Compliant to Avoid Penalties

The Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), in coordination with the Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), has made an important announcement regarding the availability of Virtual Assets Regulated Activities. These activities, which were issued on 7th February 2023, can now be accessed through DET branches.

If you are a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) intending to operate in mainland Dubai or seeking to modify your existing commercial licenses, it is crucial to apply for the relevant activities at DET branches.

The following regulated Virtual Asset (VA) Activities, requiring a VARA license, are now open for application:

1. VA Advisory Services

2. VA Broker-Dealer Services

3. VA Custody Services

4. VA Exchange Services

5. VA Lending and Borrowing Services

6. VA Management and Investment Services


Additionally, you may also apply for the VA Proprietary Trading commercial license, which will require VARA’s No Objection Certificate (NoC).


It is important to note that firms already engaged in VA Activities in Dubai (excluding the DIFC) before 7th February 2023 (referred to as “Legacy” firms) must seek regulatory oversight or relevant guidance from VARA by the final deadline of 30th April 2023.

Failing to comply with the regulatory framework by the aforementioned deadline may result in substantial punitive measures, including material fines, penalties, or potential closure of the firm.

To ensure compliance and mitigate the risk of fines or regulatory action, it is advised to visit the designated DET branches to either modify your existing license or apply for a new VA license.


Stay ahead of regulatory requirements, protect your business, and maintain a competitive edge in the growing virtual asset market by taking the necessary steps to comply with the new regulations.

Please note that the information provided in this blog post is based on the announcement made by VARA and DET, and it is recommended to visit the official websites or contact relevant authorities for the most up-to-date information.

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