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Dubai Offers Web3 and AI Firms A 90% License Fee Cut, Seeks To Host Largest Tech Firms In MENA

Dubai has unveiled a substantial 90% discount on registration fees for web3 and Artificial Intelligence (AI) businesses looking to secure operational licenses. This move is part of the city’s ambition to establish the premier tech hub in the MENA region.

Under the banner of the “Dubai AI and Web3 Campus”, the city has presented its vision for the technological landscape, extending various incentives to web3 companies, including digital asset exchanges and NFT artists, to spur innovation across the region.

The Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) will be responsible for issuing these subsidized licenses, continuing its trend of luring industry-leading talent in recent times.

Dubai officials have emphasized that the AI campus will be equipped with cutting-edge AI infrastructure and laboratory innovations, prepared to accommodate a surge of companies eager to set up in the city.

Furthermore, the campus is designed not only as a working space but also as an educational hub, providing training to budding innovators aiming for a future in AI and cryptocurrency. The infrastructure comes equipped with necessary hardware, tools, and funding to support these initiatives.

Mohammed Alblooshi, the CEO of the DIFC Innovation Hub, emphasized the center’s dedication to bringing in more talent through a combination of skills development, incentives, and innovative platforms.

“We believe that by offering these licenses, we will magnetize a greater influx of international talent and capital to the area, fostering an environment of mutual growth and innovation,” he stated.

Future projections for the hub are promising, suggesting that by 2025, the AI initiatives will be responsible for generating approximately 200,000 jobs in the Middle East, reflecting the anticipated global expansion of the industry in the ensuing years.

Dubai takes a giant leap

The Dubai campus has set ambitious targets, aiming to create 3,000 jobs in the upcoming five years, backed by investments exceeding $300 million in the city.

Having inaugurated its AI and web3 campus earlier this year, Dubai has received commendations from observers, with notable accomplishments already evident within a few months of its establishment.

In sync with its goals, the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) has been actively granting licenses to a host of digital asset exchanges. A noteworthy mention is the recent issuance of a Minimum Viable Product license to Binance last month.

Binance, recognized as the world’s largest exchange by trading volume, is poised to broaden its services, offering an array of digital asset solutions to numerous financial entities, thereby strengthening its foothold in the Middle East.

Recently, the financial watchdog also granted a license to Laser Digital Middle East, the virtual asset division of Nomura, allowing it to provide cryptocurrency-related brokerage services and other associated digital asset investment offerings within the country.

Moreover, Dubai has set its sights on the metaverse, laying out a blueprint aiming to lure in 1,000 metaverse and blockchain companies, with the goal of generating over 40,000 jobs by the decade’s close.

The overarching ambition is clear: “… to establish Dubai among the top 10 global metaverse economies and to position it as a leading hub for the international metaverse community.”

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