The oil-rich state is surging further in the race to become the world’s blockchain and metaverse capital, and one of its noteworthy companies joins the party.
Dubai, and the United Arab Emirates at large, have begun making giant strides towards creating the world’s biggest Metaverse ecosystem with the launch of the Dubai Metaverse Strategy. The policy framework aims to tap into the already enormous interest in blockchain technology and the Metaverse in the Arabian state and drive foreign and local investment towards the latter.
The Metaverse Strategy aims to add over $4 billion to the UAE’s economy over the next five years and create more than 40,000 virtual jobs due to a five-fold increase in the number of blockchain and metaverse-related companies in the region during the same period. Already, the UAE is home to over 1,000 blockchain or metaverse companies which add $500 million to the country’s economy.
In recent times, Dubai has set its eyes on a digital transformation spearheaded by cloud computing and direct investments into emerging innovations in IT. This path has led the state to create an enabling environment for digital technology to thrive, encouraging cloud computing, blockchain technology, e-banking, and other disruptive concepts to thrive.
Dubai’s foray into becoming a blockchain hub has made the Metaverse a hot topic in the region, with entities like the Dubai Airport Free Zone declaring interest in building a parallel universe based on augmented reality powered by the blockchain. According to the Group Chairman of DP World, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Dubai is exploring creating a Metaverse and adopting its usage across several real-world cases, including warehousing and terminal operations, fleet repairs, safety training, and real-time supply chain visibility from the manufacturer to consumer.
With clear intentions on their newfound romance with the Metaverse, Dubai’s newly launched Metaverse Strategy will offer even clearer direction on the country’s goals and objectives in the foreseeable future. On the back of this giant stride, the UAE’s e& has joined the Metaverse party. e&, formerly known as the Etisalat Group, announced the launch of the e& Universe at the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) 2022 on Monday, 10th October 2022.
The e& Universe will thrive with e&‘s 5G technology, which promises low latency and high bandwidth. e& hopes to build its virtual Universe on Mars and host it on Arcadia Planitia. According to the CEO of e&, Hatim Dowidar, telecommunication companies must look to harness the potential of the Metaverse, creating with it several innovative concepts like virtual playgrounds, sandboxes for smarter AI-driven processes, and even virtual shopping experiences.
e& has also collaborated with tech giants like Huawei and SK Telecom of South Korea to create the Metaverse Service and the Etisalat by e& Business Center. These metaverse-related concepts will aim to provide a more rounded user experience across virtual environments and chart a foreseeable future for 3D retail experiences.
Dubai is fast becoming the crypto capital of the world, evident from its policies that have encouraged the likes of Crypto.com, FTX, and Binance to seek regulatory compliance in Dubai. Dubai’s Metaverse Strategy is yielding benefits in its early days, and e&’s foray into the Metaverse may be one of many such endeavors the world should expect in the coming years.