RAK Digital Assets Oasis teams up with UK's HBAR Foundation to support its members

The Cayman Islands-based foundation will support free zone’s members to make use of latest technologies such as blockchain

Ras Al Khaimah issued a law in March to establish RAK Digital Assets Oasis to support the emirate's diversification strategy. Antonie Robertson / The National
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RAK Digital Assets Oasis, the world’s first free zone dedicated to digital and virtual asset companies, has signed an initial agreement with the UK technology company HBAR Foundation to offer growth and funding opportunities to its members.

The Cayman Islands-based HBAR Foundation will support the free zone’s members to use latest technologies, such as blockchain, and build economies and applications on Hedera, a decentralised public ledger.

The benefits include a grant programme, financial backing processes, specialised expert support in technology, marketing and business development, and support to scale adoption and innovation of new ideas in the Web3 space, the new partners said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

“Together, we are unlocking a world of new possibilities, empowering entrepreneurs, and propelling innovation forward,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Humaid Al Qasimi, chairman of RAK Digital Assets Oasis.

“This collaboration is a testament to our shared commitment to driving sustainable growth and shaping a future where Ras Al Khaimah emerges as a global leader in the digital economy.”

Ras Al Khaimah issued a law in March to establish RAK Digital Assets Oasis to support the emirate's diversification strategy, attract new businesses, draw more foreign direct investment and position itself as a global tech centre.

It will focus exclusively on digital and virtual asset companies operating in metaverse, blockchain, utility tokens, virtual asset wallets, non-fungible tokens, decentralised autonomous organisations, decentralised applications and other Web3-related businesses.

Free zones – also known as free-trade zones – are economic areas where business owners have 100 per cent ownership of their organisations and tend to have preferential tax schemes.

RAK Digital Assets Oasis and HBAR Foundation will drive various initiatives, including start-up and scale-up pitching sessions, opportunities to connect with partners and investors and exploring avenues to launch joint projects such as venture studios or accelerators.

The HBAR Foundation grantees will also benefit from discounted set-up and licensing packages to establish themselves in RAK Digital Assets Oasis.

"The UAE has established itself as a dynamic hub for Web3 innovation, magnetising global enterprises and top-tier talent. We eagerly anticipate joining forces to pioneer the future of the emerging technologies landscape,” said Shayne Higdon, chief executive of HBAR Foundation.

“Through this exclusive relationship … we are honoured to provide grantees with greater access to the UAE while working together to establish RAK Digital Assets Oasis as a major hub for the Web3 and digital assets sector."

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The HBAR Foundation helps builders and creators overcome the challenges of bringing their ideas to market, according to its website.

The UAE has been investing heavily in developing its infrastructure and introducing policy reforms to attract more entrepreneurs and businesses to the country as it seeks to grow its non-oil sector.

The national digital economy is expected to grow to more than $140 billion in 2031, up from nearly $38 billion currently, the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy said in a report in February.

Updated: July 05, 2023, 2:56 PM