Unlocking the Future of Finance: A Comprehensive Guide to Crypto Payments for UAE-based Businesses

6 min readMar 30, 2023

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‍The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become a global financial hub, attracting businesses and investors worldwide. With the rapid rise of cryptocurrency, it’s no surprise that many UAE-based businesses are keen to explore the potential of crypto payments. This comprehensive guide will discuss the rise of cryptocurrency in the UAE, legal and regulatory considerations, which businesses already accept crypto, how to accept crypto payments using NOWPayments, and the future outlook of crypto payments in the UAE and beyond.

The rise of cryptocurrency in the UAE

Cryptocurrency has gained significant traction in the UAE, with many businesses and individuals showing a keen interest in digital currencies. The rapid growth of crypto in Dubai, the country’s largest city, has been particularly impressive. This interest is partly driven by the UAE government’s blockchain strategy, which aims to position the nation as a global leader in blockchain technology.

One of the primary reasons for the growing popularity of cryptocurrency payments in the UAE is the potential for reduced transaction fees. With traditional payment methods, businesses often face hefty fees from banks and other financial institutions. In contrast, crypto payments typically involve lower fees, making them a more cost-effective option for businesses.

Another factor contributing to the rise of crypto in the UAE is the increased privacy and security offered by digital currencies. Cryptocurrency transactions are secured through blockchain technology, which provides a transparent and tamper-proof record of all transactions. This enhanced security can help protect businesses from fraud and other financial crimes.

Furthermore, the UAE’s status as a global financial hub has attracted numerous blockchain and cryptocurrency companies, fostering a vibrant ecosystem and driving innovation in the sector. This has helped create a favorable environment for the adoption of crypto payments in the UAE, as businesses seek to stay ahead of the curve and capitalize on emerging technologies.

Legal and regulatory considerations for crypto payments in the UAE

When it comes to accepting crypto payments in the UAE, it’s essential to understand the relevant legal and regulatory landscape. While the UAE has been proactive in embracing blockchain technology, the country’s approach to cryptocurrency regulation has been cautious.

In 2017, the UAE Central Bank released a regulatory framework for digital payments, which initially appeared to prohibit the use of cryptocurrencies. However, the Central Bank later clarified that the regulations did not apply to digital currencies like Bitcoin, and that a separate regulatory framework would be developed for cryptocurrencies.

In 2018, the UAE Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) issued guidelines for initial coin offerings (ICOs) and announced plans to develop a comprehensive regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. The SCA has since issued additional guidance, stating that digital assets will be treated as securities and regulated accordingly.

Despite these regulatory developments, the legal status of cryptocurrencies in the UAE remains somewhat ambiguous. It’s essential for businesses to stay informed about the latest regulatory updates and consult with legal experts to ensure compliance when accepting crypto payments.

Which Businesses Already Accept Crypto in the UAE

A growing number of businesses in the UAE have started to accept cryptocurrency payments, demonstrating the increased interest in digital currencies. Some notable examples include:

  • Real estate: Luxury property developers in Dubai have begun accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment for high-end properties. This trend has been driven by the growing number of crypto millionaires seeking to invest their digital wealth in tangible assets.
  • Retail: Several retailers in the UAE have started accepting cryptocurrency payments, including online e-commerce platforms and brick-and-mortar stores. These businesses recognize the potential benefits of offering crypto payment options, such as reduced transaction fees and increased privacy for their customers. One of the pioneers in the field is Majid Al Futtaim, a group of companies that offer amenities such as cinemas, leisure and entertainment, financial services, fashion, and healthcare.
  • Hospitality: The hospitality industry has also embraced crypto payments, with several hotels and restaurants in the UAE, including JA Resorts and Hotels, now accepting digital currencies. This provides a convenient payment option for international travelers, who may prefer to use cryptocurrencies to avoid currency conversion fees.
  • Professional services: Many professional service providers, including legal and accounting firms, have started accepting cryptocurrency payments in the UAE. These businesses are keen to demonstrate their forward-thinking approach and cater to the needs of their tech-savvy clientele. Among them is Virtuzione, a business formation services provider.

Integrating Crypto Payments with Existing Payment Systems

For businesses looking to accept crypto payments in the UAE, integrating digital currencies with their existing payment systems is often a top priority. This typically involves selecting a suitable cryptocurrency payment processor, such as NOWPayments, that can facilitate seamless transactions and provide the necessary support and infrastructure.

When choosing a payment processor, it’s essential to consider factors like transaction fees, supported cryptocurrencies, security features, and integration options. NOWPayments, for example, offers competitive fees, supports a wide range of digital currencies, and provides a secure and reliable platform for accepting crypto payments.

Many cryptocurrency payment processors also offer plugins and integrations for popular e-commerce platforms, making it easy for businesses to add crypto payment options to their online stores. Additionalaly, some processors provide point-of-sale (POS) solutions for brick-and-mortar businesses, enabling them to accept cryptocurrency payments in person.

How to Accept Crypto Payments in the UAE Using NOWPayments?

Accepting cryptocurrency payments in the UAE using NOWPayments is a simple and straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

  1. Sign up for a free account on the NOWPayments website.
  2. Add your preferred cryptocurrency wallet and generate an API key.
  3. Select the appropriate tool for your website, eCommerce platform, or POS system.
  4. Install and configure the plugin or integration, following the provided instructions.
  5. Start accepting cryptocurrency payments from your customers!

By using NOWPayments to accept crypto payments, UAE-based businesses can benefit from competitive fees, a wide range of supported cryptocurrencies, and a secure and reliable platform. It’s an excellent solution for businesses looking to tap into the growing popularity of digital currencies and stay ahead of the competition.

Future Outlook of Crypto Payments in the UAE and Beyond

The future of crypto payments in the UAE looks promising, with the government’s continued support for blockchain technology and the growing interest in digital currencies among businesses and consumers. As the regulatory environment becomes more defined and the benefits of crypto payments become increasingly apparent, it’s likely that more businesses will adopt this innovative payment method.

Globally, the adoption of cryptocurrency payments is also on the rise, as businesses recognize the potential advantages of digital currencies. As technology continues to advance and new use cases for cryptocurrencies emerge, it’s likely that the popularity of crypto payments will continue to grow.

In summary, the UAE is well-positioned to become a leader in the adoption of crypto payments, thanks to its supportive government policies, vibrant blockchain ecosystem, and forward-thinking business community. By embracing cryptocurrency payments, UAE-based businesses can benefit from reduced transaction fees, increased privacy and security, and access to a global customer base.


The rise of cryptocurrency in the UAE presents an exciting opportunity for businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve and capitalize on emerging technologies. By understanding the legal and regulatory landscape, selecting a suitable payment processor, and integrating crypto payments with existing systems, businesses can unlock the future of finance and reap the benefits of this innovative payment method. With competitive fees, a wide range of supported cryptocurrencies, and a secure and reliable platform, NOWPayments is the ideal solution for businesses looking to embrace the future of finance.

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