Ras Al-Khaimah Ruler’s Crypto Majlis Sets The Tone

In a world where some jurisdictions openly pursue crypto founders for self-serving political gain, the ambitious sheikhdom of Ras Al-Khaimah is leading a proactive and collaborative regulatory approach, demonstrating that governments can and should collaborate with the industry.

The small and agile emirate is making bold moves in the bitcoin and crypto space. Although it is not a place that many have heard of in the industry, but things are about to change.

Ras Al-Khaimah lies in the northernmost reaches of the United Arab Emirates, an emirate captivating with its natural beauty and rich historical legacy. Renowned for its pristine beaches, terracotta deserts, and the UAE’s highest mountain peak – Jebel Jais, Ras Al-Khaimah is a beloved destination for those seeking to escape from the bustling business centre of Dubai.

With a history dating back 7,000 years, Ras Al-Khaimah stands as one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited regions. Today, with a population of only 400,000, the emirate is boldly transitioning from its traditional focus on tourism, real estate, and manufacturing to become a hub for technological innovation and digital transformation.

This strategic shift is exemplified by the establishment of the RAK Digital Assets Oasis, a specialized economic free zone designed to cater to bitcoin, Web3, crypto, and AI enterprises.

A Crypto Majlis For A Crypto Future

During the official launch of the RAK Digital Assets Oasis His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah and UAE Supreme Council Member, convened a Crypto Majlis, bringing together leading minds from the global crypto industry to address the critical needs of the rapidly evolving Web3 and crypto landscape.

“Majlis” is an Arabic term that translates to “a place of sitting.” In many Middle Eastern societies, a majlis has historically and culturally signified a gathering where the Ruler engages with community members, listening to their concerns and fostering open dialogue. It is a space for discussion, deliberation, and decision-making.

Such gatherings play a vital role in governance in the Middle East, reflecting the participatory nature and close relationship between Rulers and communities. The Crypto Majlis embodies a modern interpretation of this tradition, fostering discussions in the realm of digital assets and blockchain technology.

Notable figures attending the Crypto Majlis included H.E. Gabriel Abed, Ambassador of Barbados to the UAE; Alex Chehade, General Manager of Binance; Dominic Williams, Founder and Chief Scientist at DFINITY; Ming Wu, CTO at Conflux; Juliet Su, Managing Partner at NewTribe Capital; Henri Arslanian Co-Founder, Nine Blocks Capital Management, Dmytro Kotliarov, key contributor to DeXe Protocol; and Alexia Hefti, CEO at eGovern.

The insights and deliberations gathered from this Majlis will play a pivotal role in shaping the vision and offerings of the newly launched economic free zone. During the majlis, Dr. Sameer Al Ansari, CEO of RAK Digital Assets Oasis, reaffirmed the emirate’s commitment to meeting and exceeding industry needs and expectations, underscoring Ras Al-Khaimah’s proactive approach to the digital sector.

For leaders in the crypto and Web3 industries, the Majlis presented a unique opportunity to contribute to a regulatory framework for Ras Al-Khaimah and share the industry’s needs and pain points.

Collaborative Innovation

The assembly of industry experts at the Crypto Majlis and the establishment of the RAK Digital Assets Oasis underscore the emirate’s commitment to collaborative innovation and highlight Ras Al-Khaimah’s focus on collaboration and innovation in the crypto space. The emirate is actively forming strategic partnerships in various niches and across jurisdictions. This effort is more than just building alliances; it’s about merging different skills and innovative ideas to advance the digital economy. These partnerships are crucial, combining global perspectives, technical expertise, and creative approaches.

It’s impressive to see Ras Al-Khaimah, alongside Abu Dhabi and Dubai, support Web3 businesses. The impact of this movement goes beyond the UAE’s national borders. As more jurisdictions worldwide align with this progressive stance, the global crypto and Web3 sectors stand to benefit significantly. It provides more opportunities for business founders and entrepreneurs, not only helping existing businesses grow but also creating a space for new ideas and advancements in the industry.

A Glimpse Into What Lies Ahead

Already today, Ras Al Khaimah facilitates the incorporation of businesses with an established capital in BitcoinBTC, EthereumETH, and other cryptocurrencies and also permits payment of incorporation charges and office leases in bitcoin.

What next? A government treasury that holds bitcoin?

Only time will tell what the future holds for Ras Al-Khaimah. However, the emirate’s rich 7,000-year history suggests that it is a place where innovation and progress are always welcomed, and with the upcoming Bitcoin halving in April 2024, the future of Ras Al-Khaimah may become even richer.

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