Dr. Al Zarouni: This is the future for Dubai and the UAE. So, we have to put our maximum effort as it will position us among the top countries in the world

Dr. Marwan Al Zarouni, CEO of Dubai Blockchain Center (DBCC), a Blockchain Center which was inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai on the 15th of May 2018, and which aims to bring together blockchain thought leaders, developers, investors, and educators, has been a main pillar of the blockchain and crypto space for quite a while now.

Dr. Marwan is also the lead of the digital asset task force, which helps him play a vital role in educating the world on this new technology and enhancing its adoption.

In an interview with CNBC, Dr. Marwan stressed on the fact that Dubai is already the Silicon Valley for Web3. However, he mentioned that there is still a long way to go.

He said, “Dubai is doing this as a long-term vision, not as an immediate goal, and there are many things that aid in that, such as infrastructure and the fact of providing a safe environment for investors.”

Dubai- a thriving space in regulations and development

When asked about this topic, Dr. Marwan mentioned that the crypto space has been lacking regulations that protect both, companies and retail investors. In fact, lots of countries who come up with regulations try to hamper growth. However, here in Dubai, the government is aiming to attract big investors, hence the regulations are created to enhance this growth.

He said, “This space cannot be regulated using traditional market regulations, as we have to look at it from a new perspective; not from our own perspective, but a shared one with industry leaders, consumers and other investors that want to get into the space but don’t really understand or know how.” 

Dr. Marwan also mentioned that Dubai has a huge advantage over other cities because it is run like a business. 

The DFC, a free zone, and VARA, serve different types of clientele, but they are both moving very rapidly and regulating these kinds of new assets.

He said, “We are working alongside the regulators (DFC, VARA and DMCC), as we want to aid in closing the gap between the industry and the regulators. We also play a vital role in educating government partners on opportunities related to the metaverse and NFTs, and how they can add value to their services and present them in a more high-tech way.” 

It is important to mention that Dubai has secured numerous partnerships, especially that with the museum of the future, which has launched an NFT collection with Binance.

As Dubai tries to welcome this new technology and embrace it on all levels, from citizens to government and academia, all these initiatives paint the picture that it is trying to portray.

The UAE in general and Dubai in particular have both played a leading role in this space, knowing that they always thrive to stay in contact with their neighbors and even other states, working together on how to approach this emerging technology.

Dr. Marwan concluded, “This is the future for Dubai and the UAE. Nevertheless, we have to put our maximum effort into enhancing the adoption of this technology and keep moving forward, as it will position us among the top countries in the world.”

Education- a step closer to blockchain adoption

As previously mentioned, educating the world on this new technology is one of the main pillars that help in its adoption. For this reason, Dr. Marwan makes sure to always work on the matter.

He commented, “All aspects of education are important. We have this hypermedia, like TikTok videos, broadcast media, such as CNBC Arabia, as well as online content through YouTube and online academies. We also have academic degrees specialized in blockchain. Education is at the core of how things are moving forward, and because of it, we are going to see a rapid progress in this space.”

However, the effort does not stop here, for events are held and conferences are organized to spread awareness about blockchain. For instance, on the 28th and 29th of September, The Metaverse Assembly will take place, bringing the government and all the big corporations, like Microsoft and Meta to Dubai.

He added, “This event will enable us to talk about how we can move forward with this technology, and understand where our opportunities lay.”

Other initiatives include blockchain research papers coming out of the UAE, which has not been done before, and this has happened on many levels including, Bachelor, Masters and PhD programmes.

Also, an NFT summer camp for kids was organized in Dubai, which showed that a lot of them have already bought NFTs and started collecting, trading and creating a marketplace for their own produced and traded kind of items.

Dr. Marwan concluded, “kids get the metaverse concept, they even use the term IRL (in real life), so it is already implemented in the community among children and teenagers. They truly understand what Web3 is.”

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