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NFT in the UAE: Meet the New Blockchain Capital of 2022

NFT in the UAE—It’s no secret that doing business in the United Arab Emirates is attractive, and the Gulf nation now appears prepared to become an international center when it comes to cryptocurrencies. The world’s largest cryptocurrency trading platform, Binance, is putting all of its resources into the United Arab Emirates as more and more governments seek to prohibit or impose strict regulatory measures on cryptocurrencies. Digital assets known as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are becoming increasingly popular in the United Arab Emirates.

In contrast to places like America and China, the UAE is welcoming this new technology, according to Jamil Abu-Wardeh, director and co-founder of METKAF.com, a UAE crypto learn-and-launch company. “America and China’s loss is the UAE’s gain,” he told The Circuit. To keep an eye on this, “the UAE has understood that you need the necessary personnel and technology in place.”

Binance and the Dubai World Trade Center Authority (DWTCA) reached an agreement at the end of December 2021 to create a global ecosystem for virtual assets. First, Binance signed up to become one of the first members of DWTCA’s “complete ecosystem for cryptocurrencies and providers of related services,” as stated by bitcoin.com. This cooperation will assist Dubai in progressing its ambition of creating a worldwide ecosystem for Virtual Assets that will spur long-term economic development through digital innovation, according to Binance, which announced the partnership.

After Binance inked the contract with DWTCA on December 21, 2021, CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted only the word “Dubai.” Chinese billionaire Zhao, known as CZ, now has a net worth of $96 billion, placing him in direct competition with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Larry Page.

In a show of solidarity for a city he has described as “extremely pro-crypto,” Zhao purchased his first Dubai house in November. According to Bloomberg, Binance was in talks with Dubai and Abu Dhabi with officials from the special economic zones Abu Dhabi Global Market, Dubai International Financial Centre, and Dubai Multi Commodities Center about its aspirations in the Gulf nation in December of 2015.

The possibility of a Dubai headquarters for Binance says a lot about Dubai’s burgeoning crypto ecosystem, particularly in light of the ongoing global regulatory pressure. One of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance, was founded in China in 2017. Binance’s trading volumes increased between July and August despite recent regulatory crackdowns worldwide, demonstrating that they had minimal influence on the platform’s business.

NFT in the UAE: A Rising Blockchain Capital

In contrast to many countries that have taken steps to outlaw the use of Bitcoin (BTC) and other digital assets, the UAE’s regulators have taken a different approach, pushing forward their vision of becoming a blockchain capital through specific frameworks designed to guide crypto companies on how to operate within the Gulf nation’s laws.

With a 70 percent market share in cryptocurrency trades under Binance’s control, Abu-Wardeh asserted “the fact that the UAE is becoming a capital for crypto and digital assets.”

As the global economy moves to accommodate less traditional methods of money transfers, such as digital wallets that may contain both fiat cash and cryptocurrency, interest in blockchain and cryptocurrencies is expanding exponentially in the UAE.

Dubai’s DMCC Crypto Centre is scheduled to open in May 2021 to encourage cryptographic and blockchain technologies. Over a hundred crypto-related organizations are registered here, and an additional 900 have expressed an interest in obtaining permits. In the United Arab Emirates, there are now more than 400 crypto companies.

There has been a boom in the purchase, sale, and creation of NFTs as part of the UAE’s embrace of cryptocurrency. These cryptographic assets have unique identifier codes and metadata that separate them on the blockchain. However, unlike cryptocurrencies, they are unique representations of real-world assets that cannot be sold or exchanged at parity.

Michael Joseph Winkelmann, better known as “Beeple,” sold his first NFT artwork at Christie’s auction in February of 2021 for $69.4 million.

According to a study of 28,000 people done by finder.com in November 2021, the UAE’s NFT ownership rate was more than twice the global average.

According to a recent survey of the country’s population, one in every four UAE residents, or 23%, owns at least one NFT. It was discovered that 11.7 percent of people own NFTs on average. The Philippines (32 percent), Thailand (27 percent), and Malaysia all come in ahead of the United Arab Emirates on this ranking (24 percent). Vietnam came in second with 17% of the total. Alternatively, Japan’s was the lowest at 2%, followed by the United Kingdom and the United States at 3%, Germany at 4%, and Australia and Canada at 5%.

On a recent edition of Boardroom’s “Out of Office,” Liontree founder and CEO Aryeh Bourkoff noted that “the new generation coming out of school feels like they can’t participate in the conventional industries: banking, legal.” Why bother going to school at all if you don’t have a purpose? Investing in the stock market requires going via conventional channels, and 90% of equities are owned by 10% of the population. People ask themselves: What is the point of entering a race with only one participant? As a result, a new way of thinking about NFTs, cryptocurrencies, and the Metaverse is emerging. Innovation alone isn’t enough; it’s establishing new universes.

Last month, the postal service of the UAE released NFT stamps to commemorate the federation’s 50th anniversary.

Collaborations for NFT in the UAE

An NFT curatorial platform, MORROW collaborated with Dubai Culture on the Al Safa Art and Design Library’s latest show, debuting on January 15. Gigi Gorlova, Khalid Al Banna, Alia Al Gaoud, Dalal Ahmed, and Marwan Shakarchi are among the artists whose work is featured in the exhibition titled “50/50” in honor of the United Arab Emirates’ 50th anniversary.

Jen Stelco, a co-founder, and artist, introduced to NFTs last year, says MORROW was created in March 2021. Gallerists and conventional painters learned about NFTs just over a year ago, and they were terrified.

At the time, it appeared that one could only be an NFT supporter or a traditionalist. There seems to be no need for art galleries for NFT artists who upload their work to virtual platforms, as there is no need to display their work physically.

As Stelco puts it, “Galleries were not on board with NFTs, but we love galleries, so we wanted to find a method to get galleries into NFTs by establishing a platform that is for galleries.

This will be Stelco and her co-founder Anna Seaman’s first NFT show for SuperRare, called “Orchestra of Crickets,” in February 2021.

As Stelco put it, “This was arguably the beginning of the MORROW concept.” Because it worked, we went ahead and did it.

Art Dubai has also joined the digital art-cum-NFT bandwagon. To mark its 15th anniversary in March, Art Basel Miami Beach has established a new digital art area that examines the evolution of digital art from the 1980s to today.

“The crypto scene in the UAE is growing,” said Chris Fussner, curator of the new section and a web3 specialist and director of Tropical Futures Institute, a prominent design strategy agency in Cebu, Philippines. “Macro forces are mostly to blame.” The UAE government has seen web3, blockchain, and crypto as good bets for the future because of their regulatory flexibility, especially in today’s world. A forward-thinking metropolis like Dubai must have its eyes on the end to be competitive today.”

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