Saudi Arabia’s Tomb of Lihyan Enters The Metaverse

A digital twin of the tourist site was recreated in Decentraland, joining several others of Arabian origin in the Metaverse.

Bringing the real world and an infinite number of imaginary worlds to life beyond solid matter is what the metaverse concept seeks to achieve. Yet another exceptional piece of architecture in the real world has found its way into the metaverse. As of October 5th, a virtual twin of the iconic Hegra’s Tomb of Lihyan in AlUla, Saudi Arabia, took shape and opened its doors to tourists from anywhere in the world.

Hegra’s Tomb of Lihyan is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. An easily recognizable sight, its virtual twin popped up in Decentraland, a Metaverse world powered by the Ethereum blockchain. The metaverse representation of Hegra’s Tomb is a majestic three-dimensional model, and it is a milestone achievement for both its home city and UNESCO.

The landmark is UNESCO’s first to be rendered in the Metaverse. Also, the digital twin of Hegra’s Tomb of Lihyan represents AIUla’s first endeavor in virtual technology. Virtual tourists can enter the Hegra tomb, says the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), which visitors in the real world can’t do. Also, visitors can learn and access more information about the landmark through several touchpoints in the virtual world. At the same time, the surrounding desertscape will be fully featured in the virtual Hegra Tomb.

Chief Executive of the Royal Commission for AIUla, Amr AlMadani, claims the move stands for a breathtaking evolution of AIUla’s heritage and is an open invitation to people from all over the world, travelers, digital explorers, and scholars to enter into and experience AIUla in a new dimension. According to AlMadani, AIUla’s foray into the metaverse is an essential move in pushing for the city’s regeneration, shifting from the real world to the virtual realm to make AIUla more accessible to people all over the world.

Also, the Royal Commission for AIUla will draft a schedule for events in the Metaverse to be hosted in Decentraland at Hegra’s Tomb of Lihyan. These events will aim to attract a large number of people to the region through metaverse technology.

Hegra’s Tomb of Lihyan is located in an archaeological site some twenty kilometers north of AIUla, and the landmark is famous for its outstanding rock and tomb formations. Liyhan’s tomb stands the tallest among the monuments at the site, standing twenty-two meters tall, and is also regarded as the largest in the region.

AIUla’s entry into the metaverse adds to the list of tourist sites in the Middle East that now feature in the Metaverse. Recently, Yas Island in Abu Dhabi announced it is building a digital twin in the Metaverse. Another famous landmark, Burj Khalifa, also features in the Metaverse, giving users an immersive experience as they tour the tallest building in today’s world. Also, global telecommunications giant and UAE company, e&, recently announced that it is building a metaverse offering at the GITEC summit in October.

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