Feb 17, 2023

Dubai Embraces Crypto: Groceries, Luxury Cars and Schools Now Accepting Payments

The city of Dubai has been a haven for the crypto space, offering much-needed regulatory clarity to help the industry thrive. This has attracted both native Web3 and crypto businesses, as well as non-crypto businesses that have started to integrate technologies such as cryptocurrencies, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse into their operations.

Cointelegraph explored Dubai to see how crypto and Web3 technologies have been integrated into some businesses in the emirate.

Day to Day, one of Dubai’s most popular and affordable grocery chains, announced that it began accepting crypto payments last year. On Aug. 8, the local media outlet, Khaleej Times, reported that the hypermarket has started to accept crypto payments in their online store and several branches throughout Dubai.

Cointelegraph visited the Al Quoz branch and tried to use crypto to buy groceries, only to find out that in-store crypto purchases are unavailable. However, the good news is that crypto users can still shop using crypto on the online store. The branch accepts Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Tether (USDT) and various other coins as payment for online orders.

One of the most popular ways to experience luxury in Dubai is to drive expensive cars. Cointelegraph spoke with a luxury car club based in Dubai that found a way to utilize NFTs and various Web3 technologies in their business.

Elchai Group is bringing luxury cars to the decentralized community through NFTs. Maria Xenofontos, Elchai Group’s chief marketing officer, told Cointelegraph that NFT holders who are also automatically members of their car club would be able to rent physical exotic cars from Elchai’s car collection.

The project is also bringing their luxury car club to the metaverse, replicating one of Dubai’s most popular attractions, the Dubai Eye. When asked about NFTs, Xenofontos said that the space needs more exploration at the moment.

Apart from Day To Day, other businesses in Dubai have also announced various crypto payment integrations in the last year but failed to gain traction. On March 3, 2022, the Indian restaurant, The Bhukkad Cafe, announced that it accepted BTC payments. Cointelegraph visited the store to check if they still accepted Bitcoin, only to find out that they only accept cash or card.

On Feb. 16, 2022, the media outlet, Time Out Dubai, reported on a new online restaurant called Doge Burger, taking inspiration from dog-themed tokens like Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB). But when Cointelegraph tried to order one of the burgers, the order did not arrive, and the project’s website cannot be accessed anymore.

A popular school in Dubai also dipped its toes into crypto payments but backtracked almost immediately. On Feb. 9, Binance announced a partnership with the Canadian University Dubai to enable crypto payments within the university. However, less than a day after the announcement, the university backtracked on accepting crypto, citing 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 into the United Arab Emirates (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. In addition, the executive highlighted that at the moment, more than 8,300 professionals are working in the space in the Crypto Oasis alone.

As the crypto industry continues to grow, more businesses are looking to incorporate NFTs and other Web3 technologies into their operations, with the aim of boosting their marketing efforts and expanding their customer base. NFTs have become a popular tool for marketing and promotion, as they can be used to create unique experiences and to reward customers for their loyalty.

Additionally, many businesses are turning to NFT marketing agencies to help them create and implement effective NFT campaigns, such as Twitter NFT marketing, NFT promotion and selling NFTs. These agencies specialize in helping businesses create unique NFTs that stand out from the crowd, as well as provide guidance on how to best use NFTs to engage with customers and promote their products.

With the increasing popularity of NFTs and Web3 technologies, Dubai is quickly becoming a hub for businesses looking to leverage these technologies to increase their reach and engage with customers. As the crypto industry continues to grow, more businesses are sure to follow suit and integrate these technologies into their operations.

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