Unpacking Dubai’s Metaverse Strategy

authorNexa dateSeptember 07, 2022

Dubai has revealed its metaverse strategy, hot on the heels of Shanghai who announced a 5-year governmental plan that seeks to support blockchains, NFTs, metaverses, and web 3. The strategy was announced by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai. Here’s a look at its details and what it means going forward. 

Entering Into the Metaverse

The UAE is already a budding space for the metaverse, with over 1,000 company HQs in this sector being located in the country. As a city that is a hub of innovation, Dubai is taking great strides to become a pioneer and build on its smart city status. At present, the metaverse and blockchain sector contribute a reported $500 million to the UAE’s national economy.

Before we delve into the particulars of the Dubai Metaverse Strategy, let’s begin with some context.

Andrew Thomas is Nexa’s Managing Director and a metaverse enthusiast. He recently discussed Dubai’s metaverse strategy with the team at the Dubai Eye 103.8, explaining that the metaverse is

“Essentially a place where you can present yourself digitally. That may be as an individual or a company. It’s a place where you can digitize yourself and your assets. You can live, work, play and create your own space.”

In terms of the future of the metaverse, he mentioned that there are in fact many meta verses that people can jump into and for various reasons. 

“Dubai is so keen to get involved as they've been at the forefront of this space from a web 3 side of things. This is an opportunity to lead from the front as it always does. There have been some phenomenal startups that are driving the economy. There’s a whole host of new opportunities and jobs. There are different brands and organizations that want to be involved.”

In terms of the future of the metaverse in the UAE, Andrew says daily lives will be affected by “an inclusion in a way we haven’t seen. It will bring people closer together without being bound by physicalities in the metaverse space. That is what I truly believe.”

Dubai’s Metaverse Strategy

Dubai’s metaverse strategy is geared to attract 1,000 blockchain and metaverse companies to the city. This will involve the supporting of 40,000 jobs by 2023. The goal is for the city to become a world-wide center for the metaverse community and one of the world’s top 10 metaverse economies. In doing so, this will contribute an estimated $4 billion to the city’s economy in the next 5 years. 

The government plans to increase the number of blockchain enterprises in the city by 5. The job creation will help to secure virtual jobs and new job models to support these developments in technology. The new jobs will allow for growth in critical sectors such as tourism, education, retail, legal, and healthcare.

These jobs will span the pillars of the metaverse, namely extended reality, augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed reality, and digital twins. The strategy also aims to leverage real-time data and utilize machine learning, IoT, AI simulation and blockchain. 

The technology pillars of the Dubai Metaverse strategy include data, network, cloud, and edge computing. This includes real-world data acquisition, validation, storage, processing, and management, as well as full 5G network deployment to enable edge computing and provide on-demand computer system resources.

Sheikh Hamdan will maintain its position as a worldwide leader in the adoption of digital solutions.  This involves investing into the building capabilities and talent to create the largest and most robust ecosystem for the metaverse community. During this rollout, it will become a global testing haven for metaverse technology. 

Dubai’s metaverse strategy is set to boost regional and global economies. They also seek to adopt creative solutions, improve people’s live and introduce positive changes in everyday lives according to the Dubai Future Foundation. Along with this economic strengthening, innovation will be nurtured to attract new firms and projects to the city. 

This strategy is also aligned with the vision of Sheikh Hamdan to transform the emirate into a global capital of advanced technologies, primarily focusing on AI and Web 3. “The metaverse is a promising digital world. We aim to harness this technology to enhance the quality of life in the UAE and across the globe,” says Hamdan bin Mohammed.

As metaverse and web 3 technology develops, global standards are being set with regard to the safety and security of these platforms. Dubai will likely be a key driver in deterring these, as well as accelerating the adoption of these with the relevant regulations.

dubai metaverse strategy

How Dubai has Already Set the Scene for the Metaverse

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed and Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, the incumbent Deputy Ruler of Dubai established a task force focused on strategy and investment in the metaverse earlier this year. These plans also support the goal of enhancing the productivity and performance of the existing workforce, and supporting the full digitalisation of working.

Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) has also delved into the metaverse, with an HQ built in Sandbox to reach a borders audience. From this innovative environment, it is also able to reach a point of regulatory clarity. VARA is expanding its resource base with an experimental decentralized regulator model  to allow for more accessibility to stakeholders in the digital economy.

Since the announcement of the Dubai Metaverse Strategy, Hamdan bin Mohammed announced the Dubai Metaverse Assembly, an event hosted by the Dubai Future Foundation. This global event will bring over 300 metaverse experts together in September at the Museum of the Future.

Education, inspiration, and contributions will take place, with in-depth sessions about the metaverse and its application to various different industries, as well as workshops directed towards the future are set to take place.

Ready to Dive Into the Metaverse?

Join Dubai as the model city in exploring the depths of the metaverse. Nexa is a growth agency with close to 2 decades in the city. We offer comprehensive metaverse and web 3 services for businesses. Explore the options and opportunities that await your brand. Speak with the team at Nexa to get started.