UAE's Real Estate Giant Starts Accepting Cryptocurrencies
Emirati real estate giant Damac Properties announced Wednesday that it is adding Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two leading cryptocurrencies, as new payment options, Khaleej Times reports.
Ali Sajwani, general manager at Damac, says that the Dubai-based company has embraced crypto as part of its digital transformation effort.
On top of that, the company will invest roughly 367 million UAE dirhams ($100 million) into its new Metaverse project that aspires to build virtual cities.
Damac, which was founded back in 2002, has a presence in a slew of countries, including the U.K., Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman. The company posted 3 billion UAE dirhams ($816.8 million) in revenues last year, but it continues to struggle to achieve profitability.
In November, it was acquired by Dubai-based billionaire Hussain Sajwani's Maple Invest Co Limited. Last month, it was converted to a private firm following regulatory approval. Branching out into digital property could potentially save the company's bottom line.
A growing crypto hub
Dubai is swiftly turning into one of the world's top cryptocurrency hubs because of a tailored regulatory regime.
Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, recently opened more than 100 jobs in the UAE after acquiring a highly coveted virtual currency license.
FTX and other competitors also decided to set up shop in the gulf state.
Dubai's crypto charm offensive comes amid increasing scrutiny from international watchdogs. Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a Paris-based intergovernmental organization designed to combat money laundering, the UAE was put on the "grey" list due to "strategic deficiencies" in combating strategic cash flows. The FATF delivered a blow to the country's economic competitiveness.