Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has onboarded a new player into the free trade zone, seeking to revolutionize digital asset services in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the wider Gulf region.

Bridgetower Middle East will operate as a conduit for UAE-based enterprises seeking to pivot into digital currencies and blockchain technology. Described as a $250 million funding platform, Bridgewater’s backers include Deus X Capital and Bridgetower Capital, major players in the venture capital scene.

Bridgetower Middle East is expected to achieve its primary objectives through several offerings to institutional investors. For starters, the company will offer private equity support to startups keen on exploring blockchain while providing tailor-made digital currency staking services to enterprises in the region.

“Our aim is to bring partners into the region that can foster growth in digital assets,” said Bridgewater Capital CEO Cory Pugh. “While working with established businesses that want to capitalise on the potential of digital assets to create new and different financial ecosystems.”

Tim Grant, CEO of Deus X Capital, expressed optimism for the future of the ambitious project, citing regulatory clarity in the UAE. Grant highlights clear Web3 rules of the ADGM and its track record of housing blockchain-based projects as another indicator of the future success of the new enterprise.

For all the upsides surrounding doing business in the UAE, there are concerns revolving around onboarding enterprises to the platform. To address the issue, the company says it will focus on public-private partnership as a “long-term strategy” while regularly interfacing with regulators to ensure full compliance.

“On the public side, we have worked closely with the regulators to ensure we are properly structured, which has provided a natural transition into the private market and opened many doors already,” said Pugh.

Other strategies to be employed by the fledgling company include a potential listing on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange (ADX) and other capitalization options.

UAE leading Web3 hub in the Middle East

The UAE is evolving into the leading Web3 hub in the Middle East, powered by clear regulations for service providers and a wave of government-backed incentives.

Local administrators have rolled out strict regulatory frameworks in Abu Dhabi to keep pace with Dubai’s strides. Not wanting to play catchup, Ras Al Khaimah, one of the seven emirates in the United Arab Emirates, unveiled a new trade zone to support digital currencies, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the metaverse.

“Ras Al Khaimah is committed to embracing new and emerging tech sectors and playing a leading role in national efforts to strengthen the UAE economy and drive sustainable growth in the region,” said the city’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, November.

Watch: The Middle East’s blockchain race

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