Binance’s New Focus: United Arab Emirates
Binance is shifting its focus towards the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as it seeks to establish a prominent presence in the region. According to Alex Chehade, the general manager of Binance Dubai, “the UAE is a prime destination for crypto businesses seeking a clear path forward.” Chehade noted that the senior leadership of the UAE wanted to establish the region as a focal point for Web3 and viewed cryptocurrencies as a great driver for diversifying away from fossil fuels.
Chehade further emphasized, “Binance is here (in the UAE) because we’ve been given the surety that we can set up operations and build for the future.” He highlighted the importance of clear crypto regulations in the UAE, which provide predictability and stability for big businesses like Binance, currently facing legal disputes with regulators in the United States.
Regarding the regulatory landscape, Chehade praised the UAE’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), stating, “There’s a clear framework for people and businesses to engage with, whereas you’re just not seeing as much of that elsewhere.”
Chehade also pointed out the demographic advantages of the UAE, with an influx of young people and expatriates from Europe and Asia. He mentioned, “The two key drivers are that lots of expatriates are moving here from Europe and Asia, and the overall demographic is younger as well and we know that younger people have a more favorable mindset when it comes to virtual assets.”
Merkle Science CEO Mriganka Pattnaik also commended the regulatory landscape in the UAE, specifically praising VARA as the world’s first virtual asset-specific regulator, providing very detailed compliance guidelines for firms operating under its purview. As part of the expansion plans, Dubai’s VARA has approved OKX’s “preparatory” license, further solidifying the UAE’s commitment to fostering a thriving cryptocurrency ecosystem.