The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has shown exemplary transformation as a region in the last couple of decades. Since the discovery of oil in this region in the 1950s it has shown unmatched revolution in terms of development when compared to other regions with similar opportunities.
The advancement made by the UAE that has transformed what used to be closer to a subsistence economy into one of the economic giants of the world, is the nation’s open-mindedness towards technological innovations.
Infrastructure, tourism, social services and trade are some of the areas where the Arabian nation has shown its ability to explore emerging opportunities in the past. More recently, the friendly approach of the country towards blockchain technology emphasizes a consistent trend that has enabled its unmatched development.
UAE Unmoved by Crypto Winter
2018 remains a year that is popularly described as a crypto winter season. This is because of the setback experienced by the cryptocurrency market and the blockchain industry as a whole. Fundamental factors such as regulatory frameworks, legislative decisions and institutional outlooks were not as favourable as expected for the blockchain industry. This did not deter the adventurous nation to embark on some significant steps towards blockchain adoption.
As early as February 2018, the government of the nation’s most vibrant city, Dubai, began moves to upgrade its payment system, DubaiPay with blockchain technology. In September of the same year, the upgrade was launched, creating a system that now enables the Smart Dubai Office (SDO) to harmonize payments from different portals more effectively.
One month later, the UAE government launched a couple of initiatives towards strengthening the position of the country globally in areas such as blockchain and Artificial Intelligence.
Enabling a Nation’s Ambition
According to the Emirates News Agency, the UAE aims to ensure that by 2021 half of its government’s transactions are conducted on a blockchain platform. The UAE has also set an ambitious goal of becoming the global leader with regards to AI adoption by 2031.
Several blockchain conferences and projects are finding their way into the middle-eastern country as a result of the friendly atmosphere created by the government. Establishments like Centurion that have taken strategic positioning are also playing key roles in ensuring bilateral connections between startups, investors and existing projects. The company creates successful synergies between these groups by extending services to empower blockchain, fintech and digital companies.
The developments mentioned above, and several other activities going on in and around the UAE has led to experts predicting that the country will be the next blockchain destination like Malta and Gibraltar.
Such experts include Hans Fraikin, CEO of Libra Project a blockchain-driven impact investing program. Franklin describes the UAE is “perfectly positioned to be a global leader in the ICO space. And Andrea Bonaceto, CEO of Eterna Capital, who believes that the UAE might be “at the forefront of the industry” owing to the government’s efforts to modernize the financial sector.