top of page

Dubai’s VARA Enters The Sandbox and Becomes First Asset Regulator with a Metaverse HQ

With a Presence in The Sandbox, Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority Demonstrates Its Recognition of Virtual LAND Assets

HONG KONG and DUBAI, UAE – May 4, 2022 –  The Sandbox, a leading decentralized gaming virtual world and a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, and Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) today announced VARA’s acquisition of LAND in The Sandbox. VARA is the first asset regulator to establish an official presence in the metaverse, and will build its  MetaHQ hub in The Sandbox to reflect UAE’s commitment to the new economy and confidence in the security and sustainability of Web3 ecosystems.


The partnership will allow VARA licensees to smoothly scale their footprint in The Sandbox and enable Web3 industry leaders to have access to the regulator in their environment. The MetaHQ will provide a hub for Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs), industry thought-leaders, and international regulatory authorities to come together and develop their projects in an integrated manner. The partnership opens the door to establishing a community of local creators and builders to train talented people to use The Sandbox’s free tools for creating experiences in the metaverse. VARA will also refer relevant leads being considered for commercial licenses to The Sandbox as a potential platform to collaborate with to establish a metaverse presence.

The new partnership also makes The Sandbox the first metaverse ecosystem with a regulatory HQ presence. This adds a key industry to an already diverse metaverse that is home to numerous brands and IPs spanning the worlds of fashion, gaming, culture, finance, retail, and entertainment.

"We are thrilled to witness the progressive mission of Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), establishing VARA at the forefront of innovation as the first regulator in the open metaverse," said Sebastien Borget, COO and Co-Founder of The Sandbox. “The Sandbox aims to provide a responsible, creative platform to empower any individual – artist, creator, business, or investor – to truly own their IP and monetise their assets in a decentralized virtual world. Our priority is to provide an open stage for talent at the epicenter of the future society, bringing together entertainment, media, gaming, lifestyle, fashion, technology, finance, and more. Dubai's VARA MetaHQ is a strong vote of confidence in the global virtual asset industry, and signals that the UAE is ready to play an important role in supporting its safe growth. We are proud to be the first open metaverse platform of choice for Dubai, bringing together government and business to jointly experience the possibilities of Web3 to create a sustainable new economy."


Part virtual real estate, part amusement park, The Sandbox fully embraces the idea of the metaverse as a continuous shared digital space where worlds and heroes collide to make magic. VARA joins over 200 existing partnerships including Warner Music Group, Ubisoft, The Rabbids, Gucci Vault, The Walking Dead, Snoop Dogg, Adidas, Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, Richie Hawtin, The Smurfs, Care Bears, Atari, ZEPETO, and CryptoKitties, all following The Sandbox team’s vision of empowering players to create their own experiences using both original and well-known characters and worlds.


About VARA

Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) is the world’s first specialised regulator for the Virtual Assets sector. Established in March 2022, following the effect of Law No.4 of 2022, VARA is responsible by decree for licensing and regulating the Virtual Asset sector in the Emirate of Dubai and its free zone territories (excluding DIFC), and oversees all licensing requirements and applications for authorisation of Virtual Asset activities under UAE law. VARA plays a central role in creating Dubai’s advanced legal framework to protect investors and establish international standards for Virtual Asset industry governance, while supporting the vision for a borderless economy.

About The Sandbox

The Sandbox, a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, is one of the decentralized virtual worlds that has been fueling the recent growth of virtual real estate demand having partnered with major IPs and brands including Warner Music Group, Ubisoft, The Rabbids, Gucci Vault, The Walking Dead, Snoop Dogg, Adidas, Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, Richie Hawtin, The Smurfs, Care Bears, Atari, ZEPETO, CryptoKitties, and more. Building on existing The Sandbox IP that has more than 40 million global installs on mobile, The Sandbox metaverse offers players and creators a decentralized and intuitive platform to create immersive 3D worlds and game experiences and to safely store, trade, and monetize their creations. For more information, please visit and follow the regular updates on Twitter, Medium, and Discord.

About Animoca Brands

Animoca Brands, a Deloitte Tech Fast winner and ranked in the Financial Times list of High Growth Companies Asia-Pacific 2021, is a leader in digital entertainment, blockchain, and gamification that is working to advance digital property rights. It develops and publishes a broad portfolio of products including the REVV token and SAND token; original games including The Sandbox, Crazy Kings, and Crazy Defense Heroes; and products utilizing popular intellectual properties including Disney, WWE, Snoop Dogg, The Walking Dead, Power Rangers, MotoGP™, and Formula E. The company has multiple subsidiaries, including The Sandbox, Blowfish Studios, Quidd, GAMEE, nWay, Pixowl, Bondly, Lympo, Grease Monkey Games, and Eden Games. Animoca Brands has a growing portfolio of more than 200 investments in NFT-related companies and decentralized projects that are contributing to building the open metaverse, including Axie Infinity, OpenSea, Dapper Labs (NBA Top Shot), Yield Guild Games, Harmony, Alien Worlds, Star Atlas, and others. For more information visit or follow on Twitter or Facebook.

bottom of page