The government of Dubai has unveiled a plan that aims to create 40,000 jobs and add $4 billion to the emirate’s economy over the next five years as it continues to promote emerging digital services.
The Dubai Metaverse Strategy is an “integrated strategy” that aims to place the emirate among the top 10 cities that will change the future of global technology, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, said in a tweet on Monday.
Sheikh Hamdan said the plan is “another technological and economic revolution that will affect all aspects of life in the next two decades”.
The project aims to double the number of blockchain companies and the metaverse by five times.
Sheikh Hamdan said that there are currently 1,000 companies in Dubai operating in the metaverse, contributing $500 million to the national economy.
“We expect to increase significantly in the coming period,” he said.
The Metaverse is an emerging digital space in which people, represented by avatars or three-dimensional simulations, can interact in virtual worlds.
It is part of Web3, the next evolution of the Internet, with blockchain, decentralization, openness and user-friendliness among its main components.
The global market value is expected to exceed $1.6 trillion by 2030 at an annual growth rate of more than 50 percent, from $40bn in 2021, according to Canada-based Precedence Research.
The UAE has taken a number of major steps to integrate technology and related technologies – including blockchain, cryptocurrencies and other Web3 innovations – into the economy, government and society as part of its efforts to develop the economy of the future.
In May, Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (Vara) said it had stepped in with the launch of its Metaverse HQ, making it the first regulator to have a stake in the emerging digital space.
Vara was launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, in March under the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulation Law, the first law in the emirate that regulates virtual assets.
The organization aims to develop high-quality laws to protect investors and provide international standards for financial management to support the growth of businesses in the emirate.
Last month, Magnati, the payments business unit of First Abu Dhabi Bank, unveiled Magnati-MetaV, a platform that aims to give consumers access to the growing e-commerce sector and increase trade revenue.
It is the “first” part of the market that is thriving in the region to work on the technology of the blockchain industry and integrate all the developments with traditional payment methods.
On Monday, Kraken, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, has partnered with the National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah to provide the UAE with the ability to sell virtual goods in dirhams through local bank accounts.
Interest in jobs related to the metaverse is increasing, increasing tenfold in the past months, showing that the previously unknown concept is now on the radar of employees and companies, a May survey from the Bankless Times showed.
At the beginning of this month, the UAE Ministry of Digital Economy, AI and Remote Working System signed an initial agreement with the blockchain data platform Chainalysis to provide programs for virtual education institutions in the country.
Sheikh Hamdan said the Dubai Metaverse Strategy will be essential to the emirate’s ambitions to become one of the world’s leading financial hubs and capital.
The purpose of this project is to describe all aspects of the development of the metaverse, from the creation of laws and programming to the development of skills and finding ways to solve these problems that can be used by public institutions.
“Dubai was and will remain an example for others around the world because [Vice President and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh] Mohammed bin Rashid has assured the world time and time again of his destiny and the vision of development that created Dubai,” said Sheikh Hamdan.
Updated: July 18, 2022, 12:08 PM