Dubai, United Arab Emirates-based luxury real estate developer DAMAC Properties will soon begin accepting bitcoin payments for property sales in the region, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
“DAMAC Properties has always been at the forefront of innovation, from developing luxury homes to creating unique experiences,” said ALi Sajwani, the company’s chief operating officer and head of its digital transformation initiatives. “This move towards customers holding cryptocurrency is one of our initiatives at DAMAC to accelerate the new economy for new generations and for the future of our industry.”
DAMAC is not the first property developer in the world to accept Bitcoin payments.
In November, Latin American real estate technology (proptech) market leader La Haus announced that it would begin accepting BTC as payment for on-chain homes and on Lightning through integration with the processor of OpenNode bitcoin payment. The Haus sold her first property for bitcoin two months later as she fulfilled the purchase of an apartment in Mexico for 5.78 BTC. The company sold another property the following month, the first in Colombia, for bitcoin.
DAMAC’s move shows a regional determination to foster a Bitcoin economy as the UAE seeks to establish itself as a welcoming region for the development of cryptocurrency businesses.
Kraken recently received regulatory approval from ADGM and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority to become the first cryptocurrency exchange to offer direct funding and trade in UAE dirhams for bitcoin, a reported CNBC. Binance is also among those considering opening an office in the Middle East, as the exchange recently received permission to operate in Abu Dhabi. Bybit also received approval to open a head office in Dubai last month.
Greater regulatory clarity is behind the recent influx of cryptocurrency businesses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, according to Citi.
According to data from Chainalysis, the Middle East accounts for 7% of global cryptocurrency trading volumes and is one of the fastest growing cryptocurrency markets in the world.