Recently, Dubai has joined the metaverse revolution, joining the list of countries that have embraced it since the concept was first introduced. Previously, Shanghai, a city in China, unveiled its plan in July to create a metaverse economy worth 350 billion yuan (about $52 billion) by the end of 2025. Dubai is the most recent nation to engage in significant metaverse activity as it announces ambitious plans to rank among the top ten metaverse economies worldwide and #1 in the GCC region in the next five years.
This article will discuss the opportunities and the road ahead as the country embraces the new immersive internet era.
What does Dubai plan to achieve through metaverse?
According to the UAE official news agency WAM, Dubai Metaverse Strategy, unveiled on 18 July, intends to draw more than 1,000 blockchain and metaverse enterprises and provide over 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030.
The announcement further states that it will strengthen Dubai's economy and help the UAE government's objective to increase the number of blockchain and metaverse companies by five times the current number.
The metaverse strategy will be based on three main pillars;
- Foster metaverse innovation and economic contribution
- Cultivate metaverse talent through education and training
- Develop metaverse use-cases and applications in the Dubai government
Getting the basics right: Establishing a higher committee for future tech and digital economy
- In the latest development, the higher committee for future technology and the digital economy has been established by the Dubai government, and His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, crown prince of Dubai, is the new chairman of the committee.
- The higher committee will create regulations and research trends for the digital economy and emerging technologies, including cloud computing, data centers, virtual reality, augmented reality, the metaverse, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and Web 3. It will also oversee the execution of plans for Dubai's digital economy and emerging technologies.
- In addition to advising the various economic sectors about the digital economy, the committee will strive to determine the future skills required for the digital sectors. Additionally, it will monitor the success of the digital economy and make sure that Dubai's economic contribution is comparable to international standards. Furthermore, it will build strategic partnerships with organizations working to boost the digital economy worldwide.
- The Dubai Metaverse Assembly, which the Dubai Future Foundation will host on September 28 and 29, 2022, at the Museum of the Future and Emirates Towers, will examine how the groundbreaking technology can be used in key industries to improve the quality of life and the future of humanity.
Looking at the bigger picture
A recent report published in Bloomberg revealed that the metaverse market was worth $500bn in 2020, projected to reach $800bn by 2024 globally. Dubai is aiming to cash in on half of the global market, and leaders of Dubai Future Foundation believe that the numbers are very conservative and 100% achievable. It is still early to develop these emerging technologies, which are now considered in their infancy. However, if one looks at where these technologies were a year ago compared to now, one can see that they are also expanding exponentially.
Sometimes it can be challenging for people to anticipate its growth when something is in an early stage. Still, the metaverse is entering almost every industry, including tourism, healthcare, education, and more. People will eventually comprehend the benefits of the metaverse, and it will ease their understanding when Dubai hosts the Metaverse Assembly in September, where global technology leaders will discuss its future implementation. At this time, the emphasis is more on designing the roadmap that will take the country forward to achieve the desired success in the coming days. In a conversation with The National News, Abdulaziz AlJaziri, Deputy CEO and COO at Dubai Future Foundation said,
"I don't believe that we can sit idle and let the world reshape the metaverse industry without us having a say. Dubai is a global playground when it comes to all the new industries. So, this is nothing new to what we are doing. We want to provide a global stage for businesses around the world to harness future technologies and boom in Dubai."
The bottom line
The metaverse's enabling technologies, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), are currently supporting 6,700 jobs in the UAE and adding about $500 million to its GDP. The Dubai government has quantified the promise of Metaverse and Web 3.0 technologies by stating that the digital transformation will create 40,000 jobs and add $4 billion to the emirate's economy over the next five years. It is exciting to keep an eye on what the future holds for Dubai as it is busy shaping the new era of the internet.
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