Cryptocurrency licence in Dubai - COREDO

Cryptocurrency licence in Dubai

Price from 85 000 EUR

Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP)

Dubai is one of the top choices for businessmen planning to obtain a cryptocurrency licence in the UAE. In recent years, the emirate’s authorities have made significant efforts to establish themselves as a regional hub for financial technologies and to attract cryptocurrency companies from around the world. In the UAE, general cryptocurrency regulations were first introduced in 2018, and in November 2020, the local regulator, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), issued the initial crypto asset regulations.

The Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), established in 2022, is the primary regulatory authority overseeing the cryptocurrency sector in Dubai. As of early 2023, VARA has introduced mandatory licensing requirements for all cryptocurrency companies intending to operate in the region.

Currently, Dubai offers two main types of cryptocurrency licences:

  • Exchange licence.
  • Custody licence.


COREDO provides a full range of services for obtaining cryptocurrency licences in Dubai, which includes:

  • company registration within the jurisdiction;
  • assistance in drafting the required documents and submitting an application to the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA);
  • support in account setup and office rental;
  • recruitment of qualified staff;
  • legal assistance of the company throughout the process until obtaining a licence.

Cost of services for obtaining a virtual assets licence in Dubai

  1. Assistance in applying for initial approval:
  • Legal expenses: approximately EUR 8,000, billed hourly at a rate of EUR 600/hour (upfront payment required).
  • VARA licence fees:
    • Application fee: 100,000 dirhams (approx. EUR 25,000) (half of the amount must be paid upon submission, the remaining 50% upon issuance of the VASP licence).
    • Annual supervision fees: AED 200,000 (approx. EUR 50,000).
  1. Setting up the company:
  • Legal expenses: approximately EUR 13,500, billed hourly at a rate of EUR 600/hour (upfront payment required).
  • Setting up the company. The costs vary based on factors such as the number of employees, office size, etc.
  • Other fees may include realtor and HR specialist fees, among others.
  1. Full Market Product (FMP) licence application:
  • Legal expenses are hourly and rate-based at this stage.
  • Consultant’s fee: approximately EUR 80,000 (final amount dependents on the specific situation).
  • Other expenses.


Establishing a crypto business in Dubai is a good and profitable choice. Aside from the jurisdiction’s prestige and the high standard of living in the emirate, obtaining a cryptocurrency licence in Dubai offers several advantages, including:

  • favourable tax conditions: zero tax on company income (up to 375,000 AED (approximately 100,000 USD)) and dividends;
  • double taxation treaties with over 120 countries;
  • the possibility of 100% ownership of the company by foreigners;
  • no residency requirements for cryptocurrency licence recipients;
  • no need for local partners;
  • no restrictions on hiring foreign employees;
  • government support for the development of the fintech sector in the country;
  • constant refinement and updates to the cryptocurrency development and regulation strategy, making it one of the most modern in the world;
  • the use of English as a language for corporate communication.



All businessmen intending to work with digital assets in Dubai must remember and strictly adhere to the following requirements:

  • unannounced inspections by VARA or other regulatory bodies are the norm;
  • non-compliance with company activity rules and requirements can result in fines, temporary activity restrictions, or even licence revocation;
  • companies in Dubai are allowed to work only with cryptocurrencies officially registered with the Department of Finance;
  • companies are responsible for developing and implementing comprehensive internal policies and procedures covering all aspects of cryptocurrency activities;
  • the company must ensure a high level of protection and security of clients’ financial assets;
  • the company is required to maintain transparency in activities and submit all reports promptly.


To obtain a crypto licence in Dubai, applicants must follow these steps:

  • submit an application and a set of documents (including a business plan, founders’ information, and more) for initial approval to VARA;
  • register and legally formalize the company;
  • open an account with a local bank;
  • rent an office within the jurisdiction and hire employees;
  • confirm the implementation of KYC (Know Your Customer), CDD (Customer Due Diligence), and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) policies;
  • apply for a Full Market Product (FMP) licence.

On average, the processing time for document review and obtaining a licence in Dubai ranges from 1 to 6 months.

Back in April 2023, VARA representatives announced stricter verification rules for crypto companies intending to operate in Dubai. Thus, applicants may be asked to provide additional detailed information about their current and future activities. To increase the chances of obtaining a cryptocurrency licence in Dubai smoothly and quickly, we recommend seeking assistance from COREDO specialists who are well-versed in the legal intricacies of the process.


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