In a statement released on August 8, the United Arab Emirates outlined new reporting requirements for real estate transactions including digital assets, as reported by Cryptoslate.
According to the UAE government, the new regulations are intended to crack down on money laundering and terrorism financing.
A number of real estates developers have declared they will accept cryptocurrency in the midst of Dubai and Abu Dhabi recently drawing swarms of cryptocurrency exchanges and businesses to open shop. One of them was the developer of upscale real estate DAMAC, which began taking payments in Bitcoin and Ethereum in April 2022.
The UAE government is now working to make sure that digital assets are covered by the region’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism funding rules.
The Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Economy jointly with the UAE Financial Intelligence Unit introduced the new reporting criteria (FIU). The Executive Office for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML) was consulted by the government as well (CFT), Cryptoslate noted.
As per the statement, real estate agents, brokers, and law offices must notify the FIU of any cryptocurrency transactions. The UAE government stated that this covers all transactions where payment is made in cash, whether in full or in part, in an amount equivalent to or above AED 55,000 (about $15,000), in cryptocurrencies, or in money earned from a virtual asset.
The UAE government stated that all real estate agents, brokers, and law firms must also record the identification and other pertinent documentation of the parties engaged in the transaction. Both private individuals and corporate entities that purchase or sell real estate in the area must comply with the reporting requirements.
According to the announcement from UAE Minister of Justice Abdullah Sultan Bin Awwad Al Nuaimi, the new regulations will allow UAE to act quickly to defend the region from “known and emerging risks.”
The new reporting criteria would leave very little to no opportunity for manipulation or illicit actions that could have an impact on the economy and investments in the real estate sector, according to Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, minister of economics.
(With insights from Cryptoslate)