A new DFF-C4IR UAE report evaluates the strength of blockchain in the country

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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The Dubai Future Foundation, (DFF) and the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR UAE) have jointly published a report to understand and utilize the upcoming technological opportunities and development for economic and social advancement.

Digital transformation plays a pivotal role for organizations to navigate in the post-COVID-19 period for both the UAE’s as well as the world’s financial infrastructure. To closely observe the technological changes in the financial sector the DFF and C4IR UAE in association with innovation consulting and advisory firm Accelliance launched a report ‘Tokenisation and Digital Assets: A Transformative Approach Towards Investments’.

The report evaluates the ways through which the transition of real-world assets to the blockchain (Tokenisation) can enhance the accessibility, security, transparency and efficiency of capital markets in the UAE, as the country constantly encourages technological developments. Further, it reviews the implications across industries, opportunities, and challenges, as well as the actions the UAE should take.

With this report, both DFF and C4IR UAE targets to create awareness about the significance of financial inclusion and strengthen overall safety nets in the country through blockchain mechanisms like the Tokenisation and digital assets.

Mariam Al Muhairi,
Mariam Al Muhairi
Project Manager
World Economic Forum

“The UAE has been able to resolve some of the main challenges thanks to the government’s key role in embracing emerging technologies and emphasizing the value of innovation in advancing society. The new report is a testament to DFF’s efforts to become a testbed for innovative solutions that drive digital transformation in vital sectors, such as the financial market.”

Every industry around the globe is currently improving its digital technology-driven productivity and efficiency and DFF aims to guide the UAE government and private sector entities across diverse domains to improve their performance, Ms. Al Muhairi added.

As part of the report, C4IR UAE had conducted a survey by including more than 100 industry shareholders from start-ups, digital asset service providers and community, government entities and regulators to examine the current demand for digital assets in the UAE.

In-depth interviews were also conducted with major shareholders in various governmental, regulatory, operational, technical and strategic roles to know how digital assets could affect existing market infrastructure and regulatory policies.

The majority of the respondents believed to see a near-term maturity of the ecosystem for digital assets in the UAE, with about 81 percent expecting to see established regulations within two years and 78 percent opinionating that initial mainstream adoption could be reached within four years under the right conditions.

About 88 percent of the respondents stated that financial services are highly affected by Tokenisation whereas 68 percent believes the real estate sector is the most impacted.
Furthermore, the findings suggest that to create a notable change with this venture concerted efforts and collaboration between regulators and regulated entities are needed.

Tokenisation may create new opportunities to raise the country’s position as a hub in areas such as capital market issuance, secondary markets for digital assets and digital asset custodial services.

After the launch of the Dubai Blockchain Strategy in 2016 and the Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021 in 2018, the government has taken significant measures to improve the technology nationwide by building the blockchain industry, driving public sector adoption and improving international partnership with stakeholders.