Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) New Regulatory Framework

Crypto regulator issues new regulations for virtual assets providers in Dubai 

The Dubai Virtual Assets Authority (VARA), an affiliate of the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA), was established in February 2022 by the UAE’s Virtual Assets (VA) Law as the competent entity in charge or regulating, supervising and overseeing all Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASPs) and virtual assets activities across the Emirate of Dubai (excluding the Dubai International Financial Centre or DIFC).

On 7th February 2023, VARA issued the much-anticipated Virtual Assets and Related Activities Regulations 2023, setting out the regulatory framework governing Virtual Assets and all related activities in the Emirate. 

VARA is setting high standards for the virtual assets landscape in the UAE. Most of the new requirements are at par with capital markets regulations set out in other jurisdictions, bringing for the first time a comprehensive regulatory framework for virtual assets into the region.

These new developments are relevant to all existing and prospective VARA applicants, but also to any VASPs offering or planning to offer services in the Emirate. 

Deloitte offers end-to-end support to a wide range of entities in the virtual assets space. We support local players and international VASPs looking to enter the market, helping them across their entire journey, from the development of the business and regulatory strategy to regulatory license submission to relevant authorities, license operationalization and go-live. Deloitte also supports other financial institutions partnering with VASPs to set up appropriate compliance and risk frameworks in line with new regulatory developments in the space. 

How Deloitte can help:

  • Strategy and regulatory advice for virtual assets providers
  • Design of business model/ value proposition
  • Development of business plan and financial plan
  • Gap analysis against all applicable virtual assets’ regulatory requirements
  • Development of license application packs
  • Support in responses to queries by the regulators
  • License operationalization
  • Set up of key control functions
  • Managed services and loan staffing arrangements
  • Design and implementation of virtual assets risk and compliance frameworks for other regulated institutions collaborating with virtual assets providers.
Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) Regulatory Framework

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Abhinav Agarwal

Abhinav Agarwal

Partner | Risk Advisory

Abhinav is a Partner in the Financial Risk and Regulatory Advisory team at Deloitte. He has worked with regulators, large banks, Fintechs and development funds across America, Middle East, Asia Pacifi... More