UAE evolving as investment, tech hub says Lead Ventures CEO Al Banna

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Mohamed Al Banna, CEO of Lead Ventures.
Mohamed Al Banna, CEO of Lead Ventures.

Published: Sat 13 Aug 2022, 11:09 PM

The UAE is evolved into a global gateway of business and tech hub for future generations and proof of it is evident when you see every morning new policies and reforms launched to lay a solid foundation for future generations, said Mohamed Al Banna, CEO of Lead Ventures.


Sandhya D'Mello

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Dubai-based Al Banna is in his thirties and bullish about the emerging Web3.0 trends which compelled him to venture into

“My main objective to venture in has been to educate the Arab world and give access to the crypto arabs holders. Lead

Ventures, founded by me, has an extensive business network across the world and my objective is to give Cryptoarab holders access to this network in Dubai and the World,” said Al Banna.

Adi K Mishra, co-founder Crypto Arabs and founder of Karma Innovations has funded the project and has been instrumental in bringing fundamental utility value to this project in addition to Ralf Glabischnig, founder of Crypto Oasis. Al Banna is very optimistic that the nation and Dubai particularly is “future forward” thanks to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The emirate is witnessing wide launch of crypto, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and metaverse.


While the popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) clearly skyrocketed last year, new research from Chainalysis, the blockchain data platform, indicates that while activity is stabilising, spending through 2022 is on track to reach all-time highs. The report found collectors have sent over $37 billion to NFT marketplaces in 2022 as of May 1, putting them on pace to beat the total of $40 billion sent in 2021.

As the popularity of NFTs continues to grow, so too has the number of active NFT buyers and sellers. In Q1 2022, 950,000 unique addresses bought or sold an NFT, up from 627,000 in Q4 2021. Overall, the number of active NFT buyers and sellers has increased every quarter since Q2 2020. In Q2 2022 as of May 1, 491,000 addresses have transacted with NFTs, putting the NFT market on pace to continue its quarterly growth trend in number of participants.

The report went on to analyse the monthly share of internet traffic to NFT marketplaces by geography which revealed that while some regions are more active than others, the fact that no region has made up more than 40 per cent of all web traffic since the beginning of 2021 suggests that, like cryptocurrency as a whole, NFTs have captured a global audience.

In the Middle East, web traffic to NFT marketplaces spiked in mid-2021, and has since stabilised, accounting for around 5 per cent of total global traffic. “Dubai NFTs are a natural progression towards futuristic vision. NFTs are off to a great start, but still have some ways to go in terms of the right product market fit. We envision that Crypto Arabs, in partnership with Shaabiat Al Cartoon will be the a step in the right direction,” said Al Banna.

“It is very important for NFTs to have fundamental utility in order to sustain primary, secondary and tertiary value in the markets. Our NFT project, Crypto Arabs, is revolutionising the way the world does business by educating its community members about crypto currencies, Web 3.0 and Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs) through their ‘Learn to Earn’ initiative in the metaverse.”

Sheikh Humaid bin Khalid Al Qasimi and Princess Nejla bint Asem of Jordan became some of the first members of the Crypto Arabs Community. The Royal Highnesses were presented with artwork based on the final collection which will be distributed upon mint recently.

“It is an honour to be a part of a project that is so strongly valued around education. It is so important for people in this region to be educated, and included in the future of finance. Crypto Arabs has a strong network of leaders in the Web 3 space. The knowledge they will pass onto the community is invaluable.” said Sheikh Humaid bin Khalid Al Qasimi.

Crypto Arabs is a collection of 9,999 pieces of unique NFT artwork, designed in partnership with beloved Arabic cartoon creation, Shaabiat Al Cartoon, which aired their 16th season this Ramadan 2022. It’s the first time in history where an Arabic televised cartoon is being turned into an NFT collection and will feature 10 of its most popular characters. The cartoon creation is one of the Gulf region’s most popular cartoon series, that touches upon current social and cultural issues, making it a relatable fit for today’s NFT community.

Individuals can become part of the Crypto Arabs community by purchasing an NFT, which will not only give them a collectable piece of artwork recorded on the blockchain as a unique NFT, but also access to a host of benefits built around their 3 main pillars, Education, Entertainment and Charity.

Mohamed Al Banna’s key vision with this project is to educate the community about cryptocurrency and NFTs, stating: “Web 3.0 is a new era and, as seen, can be very tricky to navigate. Hence we are bringing some of the most brilliant minds within the Crypto World to educate our community about blockchain and Web3.0. The Crypto Arabs community is your gateway to access exclusive real world networking opportunities and enhance your business relationships.”

Members will benefit from monthly master classes and Q&A’s in an Oasis built in ‘The Sandbox Metaverse’ with leaders in the Crypto community including Dr Marwan al Zarouni, CEO of Dubai Blockchain Center (DBC) and Saeed Al Darmaki, founder & CEO of Sheesha Finance. These advisers will guide members on how to navigate the world of crypto, staking, Gamefi, NFTs and DEFI and much more. With each masterclass community members complete, they will be rewarded with partner tokens.

“In Partnership with Crypto Oasis, this NFT collection will enable the buyer to be part of an exclusive community where they will be granted

access to major opinion leaders in the Blockchain/NFT space as well as events. One of the key elements of this project is that a percentage of the earnings from the sale of the collectible will be donated to charity. Crypto Oasis and the Crypto Arabs are committed to giving back to the Community and making a difference,” said Ralf Glabischnig.

A percentage of the earnings of the collection will also go to the Rashid Centre for People of Determination, reflecting the true ethos of Crypto Arabs. Adi K Mishra says: “Giving back to the community is very much a part of our DNA. We have already made significant investments towards supporting the local community with some of our other projects. Our investments in Crypto Arabs is another step towards our belief in the UAE and the GCC as a premier Web 3.0 destination in the future.” —

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