UAE Tightens Control Over Use of Cryptocurrencies for Real Estate Purchases

The authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have just ordered real estate agents to warn money laundering authorities about transactions that include payments with digital assets.

Coinciding with the emergence of crypto companies in the UAE, some local developers have started accepting payments in Bitcoin and Ethereum. For example, DAMAC Properties, one of the largest developers in Dubai, started offering this possibility to its customers back in April.

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The requirements apply to individuals and legal entities, as well as transactions exceeding around $15,000. The purchase can be paid in full with cryptocurrencies or partially, as there is no minimum limit.

Abdullah bin Sultan bin Awad Al Nuaimi, the country’s justice minister, has said:

“The introduction of reporting rules for certain transactions in the real estate sector is another example of how the UAE is coordinating across the government and with the private sector to strengthen the national framework for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.”

Brokers, agents and law firms are required to submit reports to the UAE’s Financial Intelligence Unit.