Dubai Metaverse Strategy to benefit physical, virtual lives of people, businesses: Experts

Launched by the Crown Prince of Dubai, companies in the emirate look forward to becoming a part of Dubai’s vision of being a global hub in the metaverse and blockchain sector

Image: Shutterstock

Dubai’s recently announced plan to boost the contribution of the metaverse to the economy to $4 billion by 2030 will be supportive of the emirate’s overall growth and improve the lives of residents, experts explained.

Announced last month by Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the strategy aims at ensuring that the metaverse increases its contribution to 1 percent of the emirate’s overall GDP. Headed by the Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the strategy is built around five pillars – innovation, government implementation of metaverse technologies and talent development.

Bas Lemmens, general manager EMEA for blockchain data platform Chainalysis, said that these pillars had been “rightly earmarked,” and lauded the government’s proactive efforts to “pioneer new digital frontiers” in the metaverse revolution.

“This revolution is already gaining momentum, with VR technology, virtual real estate and blockchain all working together to bring us closer to a meaningful digital ownership,” Lemmens told Arabian Business.

The metaverse has a remarkable time ahead of it now that it is backed by the Dubai government, Lemmens added, explaining that is already getting attention not just in the emirate, but globally due to the emirate’s efforts of being a global market across all sectors.

However, an “emerging space” like the metaverse can only be a driver of GDP if it relies on current and future utilities, according to Lemmens.

In addition, those branching out in the fields of metaverse and blockchain must be well-versed in the sector and its functions.

“A deep understanding of blockchain, NFTs and other elements that will enable the metaverse is what will allow innovators in the field to envision and transform into reality powerful and impactful use cases for citizens, consumers, and businesses,” Chainalysis’ Lemmens said.

Bas Lemmens, general manager EMEA at Chainalysis

For Shadman Sakib, a tech entrepreneur and investor known for his short-video platform Vurse, the recently launched strategy reflect Dubai’s efforts to use and develop technology to ensure seamless living – be it physical or virtual.  

However, the metaverse isn’t just another buzzword that will fade over time. It is “the next evolutionary step in the age of connectivity,” Sakib explained, for individuals and businesses alike.

“It [the metaverse] promises to bring our digital and physical lives closer together in terms of health, socialising, efficiency, shopping, and entertainment,” Sakib said.

Sakib also noted that the metaverse will drive more than just an individual’s identity and digital ownership, especially due to evolving technology.

“Just like the internet changed the way we shop and how it facilitated e-commerce, the metaverse will see new models of e-commerce evolve into something more,” Sakib said.

Today, businesses both in Dubai and globally are reinventing themselves to be part of the new-age revolution, while others remain sceptical.

On seeing this shift, Sakib expressed emphasised how companies must make use of this time to think, plan and execute their shift, right from marketing activations, to holistic brand strategies.

“We should all be getting ready to live in a vast digital world, rather than being the last ones to jump on the bandwagon, because [the development of the metaverse] is happening now,” he added.

The Dubai Metaverse Strategy is set to increase the number of companies in the emirate, five times over with over 40,000 virtual jobs adding a value of $4 billion to the emirate – all in a time span of five years.

Shadman Sakib, a tech entrepreneur and investor known for his short-video platform Vurse

The strategy, which aims to place the emirate as a global hub for companies operating in the metaverse and blockchain sector has already received $500 million by over 1,000 companies in the emirate, Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said.

“Brands in the country now have the potential to lead the way towards meaningful adoption of these game-changing technologies,” Lemmens concluded.

Dubai will now see the global presence of 300 experts and 40 specialised organisations in a discussion in September 2022 – aligned with the Dubai Metaverse Strategy. Hosted by the Museum of the Future, the discussion will speak of the unlimited opportunities of the metaverse, which are yet to come.

Source: Arabian Business