The recently unveiled Dubai Metaverse Strategy is an elaborate and integrated plan for the Emirate’s digital evolution. It aims to position Dubai among the top 10 places that will shape the future of the metaverse globally.
At the moment, there are close to 1,000 Dubai-based businesses operating in the metaverse, blockchain, and related technologies. The idea is to build on their presence and enable a five-fold increase in the number of such companies. This would create about 40,000 virtual jobs and inject around 4 billion dollars into Dubai’s economy during the next five to eight years.
Dubai Metaverse Strategy: The Mission
The comprehensive Dubai Metaverse Strategy plans to support technological innovation and Research and Development-based collaborations at all levels. It also intends to construct advanced ecosystems by tapping into the potential of incubators and accelerators that can attract global business organizations and groundbreaking projects to the city. Doing so would significantly increase the economic contributions of the metaverse.
Nurturing talent will be high on the agenda too. Strong emphasis on metaverse education would enable content creators, developers, and all digital platform users within the metaverse community to upskill easily. Furthermore, authorities are particularly keen on developing Web3 technology and its relevant applications. This would help in the development of new governmental work models, resultantly improving service delivery in education, tourism, retail, healthcare, remote work, and the legal sector.
In addition, the Dubai government wants to take the lead in enacting global standards for safe and secure metaverse user platforms that don’t fall prey to illegal deep web spaces like the “darkverse.” It also wants to speed up infrastructure building such as upgrade network quality and develop programming standards while creating virtual worlds and platforms. For this purpose, the strategy proposes regulations that would accelerate the adoption of these emerging technologies.
Overall, the Dubai Metaverse Strategy focuses on the following key technologies.
- Augmented Reality (AR)
- Virtual Reality (VR)
- Extended Reality (Blending of the Physical & Virtual Realms)
- Mixed Reality
- Digital Twins (Visual Representation of an Object or System)
Collecting and leveraging real-time data through Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning systems are also part of the plan. Yet another interesting aspect of the Dubai Metaverse Strategy involves utilizing Blockchain Technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) simulation to boost the mental capabilities of humans.
Betting Big On the Metaverse: Business & Growth Opportunities
At present, the blockchain and metaverse sector contribute about $500 million to the Emirati economy. The Dubai Metaverse Strategy has been devised to capitalize on this “amazing” opportunity by leading the “upcoming technological and economic revolution that would influence every aspect of life during the next 20 years.”
According to Canada-based consulting and market research firm Precedence Research, the international metaverse market is expected to surpass $1.6 trillion in value by 2030. In 2021, the worth of this sector stood at around $40 billion. Hence, the compound annual growth rate of the metaverse industry is predicted to be over 50% during the next eight years.
Authorities in Dubai are eager to take advantage. In May 2022, the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) announced its first adventure into the metaverse. The establishment of VARA’s Metaverse HQ (governed by the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulation Law) was the first instance of an Emirati regulator setting foot in this emerging digital space.
Beyond that, the government is actively inviting third parties to assist in the transition of more departments to the metaverse. This would allow the public to access different services in an integrated structure of three-dimensional virtual realms.
Metaverse Economy: The Quest for Domination
The Dubai Metaverse Strategy has set various lofty goals. However, they are similar to the ambitious metaverse objectives of some other cities. In fact, Dubai’s plan of setting itself up as one of the world’s leading metaverse hubs comes hot on the heels of a similar approach recently adopted by Shanghai.
The populous global financial hub on China’s central coast is bidding to create a metaverse economy worth $52 billion by the end of 2025. It aims to set up more than 100 organizations specializing in core metaverse tech along with 10 “chain-owner” enterprises competing on the international stage.
As things stand, there’s every chance that Dubai and Shanghai would go head-to-head for the economic domination of the metaverse. The two are certainly well-placed to become prominent metaverse hubs in the not-so-distant future.
Is Dubai Set to Be an Early Metaverse Pacesetter?
Dubai likes to do things bigger and better than the rest. It is certainly well-placed to become a sought-after metaverse destination owing to the massive investment in the sector. At the moment, the Emirate’s metaverse economy remains at a nascent stage. However, that is set to change with a 5-time increase in metaverse-focused organizations and the pumping of billions of dollars into the industry. Furthermore, with over 40,000 virtual jobs to be created in less than a decade, the city is on the right track to become a land of opportunities within the virtual realm.