Binance says it aims to drive crypto innovation in UAE

The company is deepening its ties in the Middle East after securing two exchange licenses in the Emirates and one in Bahrain

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, hopes to continue to drive innovation in the sector now that it has obtained two licences to operate in the UAE, a top executive at company has said.

Nadeem Ladki, executive director of strategic partnerships and business development at Binance, was speaking on the last day of the Future Innovation Summit in Dubai, where he outlined long-term plans the company has for the Middle East.

Binance has recently been deepening its ties in the Middle East and Europe, after receiving in-principle approval from the Abu Dhabi Global Market to operate as a broker-dealer in virtual assets in the capital in April.

Founded in China in 2017, the company also secured a virtual asset license to operate in Dubai and regulatory approval from the Central Bank of Bahrain in March to operate as a crypto-asset service provider in the kingdom.

“What I have come to see in terms of finance after entering the region is quite exciting,” said Mr Ladki.

“We are now the most licensed and regulated exchange across the region, holding two exchange licenses here in the UAE and one in Bahrain.

“And in our plan, really for the rest of the UAE and the region, is to continue to drive that innovation.

“We want to be able to of what finance can offer here to the UAE, whether those be our basic exchange products to our payment crypto solution.

“The UAE, generally, is not shy and has very strong confidence. And, I think, you see it every single day when you interact with local developers, whether that be contract or blockchain developers.”

The UAE is positioning itself to be a global crypto hub, with other global exchange firms such as FTX and Bybit setting up operations in Dubai.

Latest figures from the Dubai Chamber show that the digital economy accounts for about 4.3 per cent of the UAE's gross domestic product, equivalent to Dh100 billion.

Mr Ladki said Binance plans to continue to promote crypto adoption by working with governments, regulators and finance academies.

“Our vision for the future is all things Web 3 and that is really what we're trying to build,” he said.

Updated: May 12, 2022, 1:09 PM