The United arab emirates: a favorable place for bitcoin mining

Jun 21, 2024

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has seen a growing interest in cryptocurrency regulation in recent years. With the increasing popularity and adoption of cryptocurrencies, the UAE has positioned itself as a leading destination for Web3.

  1. Bitcoin mining in the United arab emirates

The UAE's venture into the field of bitcoin mining began in May 2023 with the partnership between bitcoin miner Marathon Digital and Zero Two, the digital assets arm of Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund. The joint venture established two mining sites with a combined capacity of 250 megawatts (MW) in Abu Dhabi.

According to Hashrate Index data, the combined bitcoin mining capacity of the UAE is likely around 400 MW, accounting for 4% of the global Bitcoin hashrate. Although the United States, China, Russia, and Kazakhstan are the top four countries with the largest share of the global Bitcoin hashrate, the UAE could gradually climb the ranks thanks to its available energy resources.

  1. Overview of cryptocurrency regulation in the United arab emirates

The popularity of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin has increased in recent years, leading to a greater need for regulations to secure their use. In the UAE, the government has implemented regulations to protect investors and prevent illegal activities such as money laundering and fraud.

The UAE has become a hub for blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies. In 2018, the government launched the Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021 to position the country as a global leader in this field. This strategy includes regulations to govern the use of cryptocurrencies and protect investors.

One of the main regulations is the framework for virtual asset service providers (VASPs) introduced by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

Cryptocurrencies in the UAE are classified into three categories: virtual currencies, security tokens, and utility tokens. Virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, are regulated by the Central Bank of the UAE. Security tokens are subject to regulation by the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), and utility tokens must comply with general commercial activity laws.

This regulatory framework aims to ensure the security, transparency, and legality of cryptocurrency transactions in the UAE.

  1. Establishing a bitcoin mining business in the United arab emirates

Cryptocurrency businesses looking to establish themselves in the UAE can choose from several free zones with varying degrees of regulatory flexibility. The VARA authority is only competent for companies established in Dubai. Recently, a free zone specializing in cryptocurrencies was opened in another emirate – Ras al Khaimah. Additionally, entrepreneurs can set up their businesses in Abu Dhabi. The choice will depend on the project to be implemented and the short- and long-term objectives.

  1. Tax advantages for setting up a bitcoin mining business in the United arab emirates

In addition to regulatory ease for setting up a business in the UAE, there are significant tax advantages. The UAE is particularly known for its zero percent tax rate on realized profits. This provides a financial advantage for mining activities in the UAE compared to other countries.


The United Arab Emirates offers a favorable environment for bitcoin mining, thanks to abundant energy resources, favorable regulation, and attractive tax benefits. These elements position the UAE as a key player in the cryptocurrency industry and a strategic location for mining businesses.


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