Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange, announced on Wednesday that it had received a license to operate in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The company’s presence in the Middle East has been growing recently, with the acquisition of a crypto service provider license in another Gulf market, Bahrain, earlier this week.

Binance will be able to set up an office in the emirate and provide digital asset exchange services to pre-qualified investors and financial firms under the newly adopted regulatory guidelines under the Dubai virtual asset provider (VASP) license.

Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE federation. It has 22 VASPs and a new virtual asset exchange (VAX) license in the emirate’s special economic zone.

The first cryptocurrency company to receive one was FTX, which announced the news earlier this week. Binance quickly followed in the footsteps of its competitor.

This move is part of Binance’s Middle East ascension strategy. On March 15, the cryptocurrency exchange announced that it had obtained a license to operate in another Gulf country, Bahrain. It will enable the world’s largest exchange by volume to offer trading, custody, and portfolio management services to Bahraini customers.

Both Bahrain and the UAE (particularly Dubai) take an innovative approach and compete for the title of the region’s most crypto-friendly jurisdiction. The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) successfully trialed JP Morgan’s crypto payment system in January 2022.

As the country’s prime minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, put it, the introduction of new crypto legislation in the UAE in March 2022 was a major step in the federation’s ongoing efforts to help the sector grow and protect investors.

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