How the metaverse is shaping the future of the UAE

The first-ever Dubai Metaverse Assembly took place this week, hundreds of experts, policymakers, and leading organisations specialising in the metaverse and web 3.0 technologies attended the event.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the crown prince of Dubai and chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, attended the event and said the metaverse will 'shape a new digital future for humanity and 'Dubai is emerging as a major contributor to shaping a new global vision for advanced technology and a pioneer in adopting next-generation digital innovation.' (WAM reported).


One of the highlights of the event is the UAE Ministry of Economy's announcement that it will soon be present in the virtual realm. Their new metaverse headquarters will be the Ministry of Economy’s third office, offering an immersive experience for governments, global corporations and the public to connect and collaborate, said Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy.


“The virtual government office would also be equipped with advanced technology for the Ministry to sign bilateral agreements with other nations in the metaverse. It will bolster the UAE’s ability to become a global hub for next-generation technologies,” the Minister stated.


The global metaverse market is expected to reach $1.6 trillion by 2030, with total annual growth of 43.3 percent. “We are moving fast to secure a share of this prize. With advanced physical and digital infrastructure, highly skilled talent and pro-business laws, the UAE has the competitive advantages to become one of the world’s top ten metaverse economies – and a global hub for investments in this field,” he added.


The new Ministry of Economy office follows the announcement follows Dubai’s government's Metaverse strategy revealed on July 18, which aims to create virtual 40,000 jobs by 2030 and support the government’s vision of increasing the number of blockchain companies to five times the current number.


Meanwhile, at the panel discussion titled ‘Metaverse and the Economy: What is the size of the Opportunity?’, Mark Zaleski, of BCG Digital Ventures, said: “Early adopters will be the winners in metaverse. The laggards will have to spend disproportionately a lot more money to catch up.”


Zaleski went on to say that the UAE's early adoption of the metaverse is paving the way for success. “There is an exponential growth in metaverse and the Gen Z (those born between 1997 to 2012) are creating it. The numbers (business projection) are phenomenal and the cost of technology has gone down. The early adopters will win,” he added.


The UAE will undoubtedly become the world’s global capital for web 3.0 technologies, it is already a budding space for the metaverse, with over 1,000 company headquarters in this sector being staked in the country.


“With advanced physical and digital infrastructure, highly-skilled talent and pro-business laws, the UAE has the competitive advantages to become one of the world’s top 10 metaverse economies, and a global hub for investments in this field,” Mr Al Marri noted.


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