Feb 17, 2023

Dubai Embraces Crypto and Web3 Technologies

Dubai has become a hub for crypto and Web3 technologies, offering regulatory clarity that has attracted businesses from all over the world. Cointelegraph explored the city to discover how these technologies have been integrated into some of its businesses.

Day to Day, one of the most popular and affordable grocery chains in Dubai, announced that it began accepting crypto payments last year. On Aug. 8, Khaleej Times reported that the hypermarket had started to accept crypto payments on its online store and in several of its branches.

Cointelegraph visited the Al Quoz branch to test out the crypto payment system, but despite the advertisements displayed throughout the store, staff informed us that in-store crypto payments were not currently available. We were directed to the online store instead, where we could pay with Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Tether (USDT) and various other coins.

We also spoke to Elchai Group, a luxury car club based in Dubai that has found a way to utilize NFTs and Web3 technologies in their business. Maria Xenofontos, Elchai Group’s chief marketing officer, told us that NFT holders who are also members of the car club will be able to rent exotic cars from Elchai’s car collection.

Xenofontos also said that they are currently developing a metaverse project called The Universe Eye, which will replicate the city of Dubai and facilitate private events, celebrity concerts, and a luxury supercar showroom.

Cointelegraph also looked into some crypto payment integrations that haven’t been successful. The Bhukkad Cafe, an Indian restaurant, announced that it accepted BTC payments back in March 2022, but when we visited the store they only accepted cash or card.

We also heard about Doge Burger, an online restaurant that accepted crypto payments, but one year later the project’s website could no longer be accessed. Finally, a popular school in Dubai announced a partnership with Binance to accept crypto payments, but backtracked less than a day later due to technical roadblocks.

Despite some projects struggling with crypto integrations, Dubai’s crypto industry is still alive. Crypto Oasis co-founder Saqr Ereiqat said that many talents from around the world are coming to the UAE to work in the crypto space.

“We are witnessing an unprecedented migration of talent and capital from around the world into the UAE,” he said. Additionally, he highlighted that at the moment, more than 8,300 professionals are working in the space in the Crypto Oasis alone.

The UAE is an ideal place for businesses to explore the potential of NFTs and other Web3 technologies. As Dubai continues to provide regulatory clarity, more businesses are likely to start integrating these technologies into their operations, creating a whole new world of opportunities.

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