ABU DHABI – Hub71, Abu Dhabi's tech ecosystem, has launched a new initiative called Hub71+ Digital Assets. This ecosystem is dedicated to advancing Web3, a decentralised online space built on innovations like blockchain technology and metaverse applications.

The ecosystem has over US$2 billion of capital committed to fund Web3 startups and blockchain technologies in Abu Dhabi. Hub71+ Digital Assets will offer Web3 startups access to an extensive range of programmes, initiatives, and corporate, government, and investment partners in the UAE and global markets.

The initiative will be based at Hub71 in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), providing Web3 startups with a progressive regulatory environment and world-class blockchain and virtual asset infrastructure. FABRIC, the research and innovation centre of First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), is the anchor partner of Hub71+ Digital Assets, while digital asset exchanges and service providers are part of the initiative to facilitate the discovery, trading and custody of digital assets.

Ahmad Ali Alwan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Hub71, stated that the launch of Hub71+ Digital Assets represents Abu Dhabi's openness to disruptive businesses that drive change and transformation on a global scale. He added that decentralisation is the future of the blockchain-based internet, and Web3 startups will play a significant role in accelerating this transition. Alwan highlighted that by collaborating with ADGM, FAB, and FABRIC, in addition to leading Web3 companies and enablers, startups will have the opportunity to fundraise, develop, and commercialize innovations safely while operating within the largest regulated jurisdiction of virtual assets in the MENA region.

According to Dhaher bin Dhaher Al Mheiri, CEO of ADGM, the launch of Hub71+ Digital Assets will strengthen the association between ADGM and Hub71. He stated that in the rapidly evolving digital landscape, the rise of new technologies and ecosystems such as Web3 has the potential to transform the world, and ADGM is committed to providing a holistic environment that facilitates the seamless and secure adoption of digital assets. Al Mheiri added that this alliance will help startups and digital assets to benefit from ADGM's diverse ecosystem and progressive regulatory environment by accessing world-class and innovative infrastructure.

Suhail Bin Tarraf, Group Chief Operating Officer at FAB, emphasised that the bank is trusted as a financial partner to its customers in the real world and increasingly in the Web3 space. Tarraf added that the partnership will allow FAB to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to innovations such as blockchain, NFTs, and the metaverse, and fulfill their Customer First promise by leveraging new opportunities at the intersection of digital identity, ownership, and value.

Moreover, Hub71's value creation programme will support business relocation to Abu Dhabi and growth in the Middle East and global markets, including Web3 startups at the 'unicorn' stage, which are companies valued at more than $1 billion.