Ras Al Khaimah, renowned for its cultural treasures, has ventured into the digital frontier. The emirate’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, spearheaded the inauguration of the RAK Digital Assets Oasis (RAK DAO) on Oct. 19. This economic free zone is a bold step toward steering the emirate away from traditional revenue streams, notably tourism.
RAK DAO: A Haven for Digital and Virtual Assets
The RAK DAO sets its sights on supporting companies immersed in the realms of digital and virtual assets, blockchain, Web3, and artificial intelligence (AI). As part of its commitment to emerging technologies, the free zone caters to service providers in the metaverse, blockchain, utility tokens, virtual asset wallets, NFTs, DAOs, decentralized applications, and other Web3-related enterprises.
Collaborating with ecosystem partners, RAK DAO is not merely a space for businesses but a catalyst for innovation. The free zone, along with its partners, initiates grant programs and offers specialized support across different areas. These include technology, marketing, and business development domains.
Reflecting on this transformative journey, Sheikh Saud emphasized,
“Our vision was to create a hub where digital assets could thrive, innovation could flourish, and groundbreaking ideas could come to light.”
Recognizing the global potential of digital assets, he further emphasized the significance of Ras Al Khaimah being a pioneer in this transformative journey.
Strategic Alliances: MOU Signing Between SCA and RAK DAO
In a momentous step, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Securities and Commodities Authority CEO Maryam Buti Al Suwaidi and RAK DAO CEO Sameer Al Ansari. This strategic alliance signifies a commitment to regulatory cooperation and collaboration. This is to further foster a conducive environment for the digital assets sector.
Notably, Ras Al Khaimah is forging ahead. Also, it enters a domain where established technology hubs in Abu Dhabi and Dubai already attract global crypto firms. RAK DAO joins the esteemed list of Web3-friendly free zones in the United Arab Emirates. Also, aligning with areas that provide entrepreneurs with 100% business ownership, distinct tax schemes, and regulatory frameworks, excluding criminal law.
Legal Framework and Growing Ecosystem
To fortify its position, Sheikh Saud issued Law No 2 of 2023. This further established RAK DAO as a pivotal player in economic diversification. This legislation grants the free zone financial, administrative, and legislative independence. Additionally, positioning it as an innovation-enabling hub for the virtual assets sector.
RAK DAO’s journey is marked by strategic partnerships. These include collaborations with the HBAR Foundation, local bank Rakbank, and Romanian AI firm Humans.ai. These alliances aim to propel the growth of RAK DAO’s ecosystem, adding layers of expertise and support to its vibrant and dynamic landscape.