Dubai’s crown prince, Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has announced a Metaverse Strategy where the Emirate is looking to use the metaverse to create 40,000 “virtual jobs” and add $4 billion to its economy over the next five years.
In a tweet, he laid out the region’s intent to increase the number of blockchain and metaverse companies by five times in the same timeframe. The push for the “Dubai Metaverse Strategy” aims to put the region on the virtual map as one of the “top 10 cities globally in terms of virtual economy.”
The crowned prince explained in his tweet that the metaverse and blockchain sector currently contributes $500 million to Dubai’s national economy as well as VR and AR have created 6,700 jobs. It also said it will look to develop metaverse use-cases and applications in Dubai’s government.
What you should know
- The move comes amid a push by Dubai to grant crypto firms licenses issued by its Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). A series of approvals have come through in recent months, including for OKX, Crypto.com, FTX and Binance, some of which will base their regional hubs in the nation.
- The Dubai Metaverse Strategy will include research and development (R&D) collaborations to enhance the metaverse’s economic contributions, utilizing accelerators and incubators to attract companies and projects from abroad, and providing support in metaverse education aimed at developers, and content creators and users of digital platforms in the metaverse community.
- New governmental work models in tourism, education, retail, remote work, healthcare, and the legal sector are promised to be created within the Strategy’s framework. Its key pillars are said to be extended reality, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), mixed reality and digital twins, a virtual representation of an object or system.
- The Strategy suggests promoting the full deployment of 5G networks to enable edge computing, which would allow data to be collected, stored, and processed locally via smart devices and local networks instead of the cloud.
The initiative from the emirate comes as the value of venture capital and private equity financing in the metaverse reached $13 billion in 2021, while real estate sales in the metaverse surpassed $500 million last year. It was also announced in May that VARA’s “MetaHQ” will be based at an unknown location in The Sandbox.