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Dubai Scores Cash for Crypto with the City’s First Bitcoin ATM

Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:20 PM
Gerelyn Terzo
Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:20 PM

Dubai, the most populous city of the United Arab Emirates, has just received its maiden bitcoin ATM, giving locals and tourists alike the opportunity to purchase cryptocurrency.

It’s kind of a big deal, considering that Dubai is a city whose locals have a taste for luxury and which boasts landmarks such as one of the world’s largest shopping malls and the world’s tallest building. The bitcoin kiosk, which accepts cash for crypto, is already operational and is located at Rixos Premium, a 5-star hotel in JBR, which is in “the heart of Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Residence.”


Location, Location, Location

The hotel is located within a stone’s throw of tourist attractions such as the Dubai Eye, Dubai Marina Mall, and the Mall of the Emirates, which seemingly could open up more opportunities for integrating kiosks or other partnerships.

The bitcoin ATM will be limited at the onset, only supporting crypto purchases. In the coming months, however, the ATM’s features will be expanded to include selling. In the interim, users have the option to sell their holdings “from any other platform,” according to the local report.

The bitcoin ATM will be located at the Rixos Premium in Dubai. | Source: Facebook/Rixos Premium

Amhora, the company behind the bitcoin ATM, which is also behind a blockchain explorer web app , charges a hefty 5% commission on the purchase amount. Amhora CEO Anhad Dhingra described the fee as “very attractive”, telling the Khaleej Times:

“You can buy bitcoins instantly. Otherwise, people have to go through a number of procedures which take a lot of time. At this kiosk, you just insert cash and you get bitcoins instantly. It is possible to purchase bitcoins through banking platforms and debit cards already but since we accept cash, it is very different. This is the first commercial bitcoin kiosk in the city.”

While the Amhora bitcoin ATM is licensed through Dubai’s Department of Economic Development, it’s missing some of the standard regulatory protocols. For instance, there aren’t any know-your-customer hoops to jump through to buy bitcoins, although customers will have to produce an Emirates ID or passport when selling the crypto. To help with buying/selling decisions, the ATM will reportedly display the bitcoin price in real-time.

Dubai’s Profile for Crypto on the Rise

Real estate developer Emaar Properties, which is behind the Burj Khalifa skyscraper, among other buildings, announced plans to launch  a proprietary community token for users and stakeholders within its ecosystem. The Emaar community token, which counts referrals and loyalty as its key features, is expected to make its debut by year-end. Emaar Properties generated $7 billion in revenue last year and is also exploring the possibility of an ICO in Europe.