After positioning itself as a crypto hub with its virtual asset law, Dubai is now eyeing the metaverse. Dubai’s Crown Prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced this news through a tweet on July 18. His tweet read,
We launched the Dubai Metaverse Strategy today, which aims to foster innovation in new technology. Dubai is home to over 1,000 companies operating in the metaverse and blockchain sector, which contributes $500 million to our national economy. pic.twitter.com/J1XRmd2ub3
— Hamdan bin Mohammed (@HamdanMohammed) July 18, 2022
Under its metaverse strategy, Dubai plans to become the leading metaverse destination in the MENA region. On the global scene, Dubai seeks to become a top 10 metaverse economy. Additionally, the emirate plans to quintuple the number of blockchain companies operating within its jurisdiction.
On top of this, Dubai aims to scale metaverse development to support up to 40,000 jobs and add $4 billion to its economy over the next five years.
To achieve the above objectives, Dubai’s metaverse plan will build on three pillars. The first pillar is encouraging metaverse innovation and economic contribution. Next comes cultivating metaverse talent through education and training. Finally, Dubai plans to integrate metaverse applications and use cases in its government.
The Next Big Thing?
This news comes as the metaverse continues making headlines. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, announced its metaverse ambitions in the past year. According to Meta, the metaverse is the next frontier of connecting people and will feature immersive 3D experiences.
However, tech giant Microsoft believes the metaverse should bridge the physical and digital worlds. Unlike Meta, which plans to focus on creating immersive experiences, Microsoft also eyes the industrial metaverse. According to VP Moe Tanabian, the industrial metaverse involves syncing the physical and digital worlds to obtain real-time operational visibility.
While it remains unclear which form the metaverse will take, Dubai is not the only jurisdiction planning to tap the burgeoning industry. South Korea’s Ministry of Science and Information and Communication Technologies announced plans to kickstart the metaverse industry. The South Korean government reportedly plans to inject $177.1 million into this initiative.
Shanghai is also exploring integrating the metaverse into sectors like public service, production safety, and industrial manufacturing, among others. Reportedly, these efforts are part of the city’s five-year plan for creating the electronic information sector.