Abu Dhabi to host first Middle East Blockchain Awards

UAE capital selected following government efforts to promote innovation

Abu Dhabi will host the inaugural Middle East Blockchain Awards in November to recognise those who have played a key role in advancing the emerging technology.

Meba will be held during Abu Dhabi Finance Week, an annual event focused on economic issues such as financial technology, innovation, venture funding and investment, start-ups, markets and economic policy. It runs from November 14 to 18.

The UAE capital is actively promoting emerging technologies such as blockchain, Web3, decentralisation and digital assets. It has also taken steps to create a safe and transparent regulatory ecosystem for them.

"The Middle East Blockchain Awards come at a time when people and businesses are pushing the boundaries of what was previously thought impossible, making significant headway into a digital-first world," said Max Palethorpe, founder and chief executive of the Hoko Group, who are hosting Meba.

"This is a very exciting period for anyone involved in the Web3 ecosystem. It's our privilege to honour those who are forging new paths with the recognition they deserve."

Web3 is the latest version of the World Wide Web, with decentralisation, openness and greater user utility among its core components.

The Web3 market is expected to be valued at about $6.2 billion in 2023, and grow at a compound annual rate of 44.6 per cent from 2023 to 2030, according to Market Research Future.

The global blockchain market is also booming and projected to reach almost $7.18bn this year and about $164bn by 2029 at a compound annual growth rate of more than 56 per cent from about $4.7bn in 2021, Fortune Business Insights said.

The Abu Dhabi government has committed to make a significant push into adopting and regulating these technologies to support the future economy.

In August, the emirate announced plans to launch a blockchain and virtual assets strategy that aligns with the emirate’s overall economic plan.

In 2018, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority, the regulator of Abu Dhabi Global Market, also launched a comprehensive virtual asset framework for the trade of virtual assets by businesses, including multilateral trading facilities, custodians and brokers.

The latest awards are being hosted by Hoko Agency Middle East in association with Abu Dhabi Finance Week and the Middle East, Africa and Asia Crypto and Blockchain Association.

“Blockchain is creating a digital ecosystem which will support a new world of services and products ranging from financial services through to real economy," said Jehanzeb Awan, board member of the Middle East, Africa and Asia Crypto and Blockchain Association.

Updated: October 05, 2022, 10:15 AM