UAE real estate giant starts accepting cryptocurrencies

Alex Dovbnya

Dubai-based real estate developer Damac Properties will start accepting Bitcoin and Ethereum

Emirati real estate giant Damac Properties announced on Wednesday that it is adding Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two leading cryptocurrencies, as new payment options. Khaleej Times reports

Ali Sajwani, general manager at Damac, says the Dubai-based company has embraced crypto as part of its digital transformation efforts.

In addition, the company will invest approximately 367 million UAE dirhams ($100 million) in its new Metaverse project that aims to build virtual cities.

Founded in 2002, Damac has a presence in many countries, including the UK, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman. The company posted 3 billion UAE dirhams ($816.8 million) in revenue last year, but it continues to struggle to become profitable.

In November, it was acquired by Dubai-based billionaire Hussain Sajwani’s Maple Invest Co Limited. Last month, after regulatory approval, it was turned into a private company. Branching out to digital ownership could potentially save the bottom line.

A growing crypto hub

Dubai is quickly turning into one of the world’s top cryptocurrency hubs due to a tailor-made regulatory regime.

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, recently opened more than 100 jobs in the UAE after acquiring a coveted virtual currency license.

FTX and other competitors also decided to establish themselves in the Gulf state.

Dubai’s crypto charm offensive comes amid mounting criticism from international watchdogs. Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a Paris-based intergovernmental organization designed to fight money laundering, was placed on the “grey” list for “strategic deficiencies” in combating strategic cash flows. The FATF has dealt a blow to the country’s economic competitiveness.

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