Dubai is taking bold steps to expand into the metaverse through various development projects. Recently, Al-Bayan hosted a Twitter Spaces “Metaverse.. the future of creative industries” where many expert figures from information technology and digital content discussed Dubai’s vision to expand its creative industries through the Metaverse.
UAE is one of the leading countries that recognized the potential of metaverse way before anyone else did. When Facebook announced its intentions to transition towards Meta to build its own Metaverse, Dubai was quick enough to grab the opportunity to try out this new technology.
Since last year, Dubai has been launching various departments and partnerships related to metaverse technology. In early May, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, The Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council and Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) announced MetaHQ on The Sandbox to kickstart its metaverse project.
Dubai to expand its economy virtually
According to a study conducted by Gartner Inc., the metaverse is one of the valuable global projects that will most likely draw many investors. Gartner says by 2026 around 25% of people will spend atleast an hour in the metaverse. Dubai is quite aware of the potential the virtual world holds for its economy.
Just recently, DAMAC Group, Dubai’s biggest real estate company announced they will be partnering with various brands to launch digital wearables in the metaverse. Many famous figures are involved in this project since DAMAC expressed its intentions to officially launch a proper Dubai City within the metaverse.
Dubai’s creative industries through metaverse
Dubai is especially giving attention to its creative economy. As a globally developed country, UAE has many well-known content creators, artists, and creative figures who contribute to promoting Dubai’s culture and arts to the world.
In Al-Bayan’s Twitter session, His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications in UAE encouraged the idea of uniting all the content makers of digital technologies and artificial intelligence which can “keep pace with technical developments in the field of ‘Metaverse’ and taking advantage of the characteristics of ‘Metaverse’ in creating reliable future projects and initiatives.”
He is optimistic that Metaverse can enrich Dubai’s arts and culture and improve its creative economy in the near future.
The regional director of Art Dubai, Hala Khayat shared interesting information with the audience. According to her, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, everyone was on smartphones and used VR technology to interact with the virtual world. During this time, the contemporary arts sector saw the most interaction with virtual technologies.
For her, Dubai has contributed a lot to showcasing art through virtual technology, she said, “The emirate is ahead of its time in supporting the arts and culture sector by all means, which motivated us to launch the “Art Dubai Digital” section through the exhibition’s activities this year which represents a bridge of communication between digital encryption and the world of art.”
She gave details on how Art Dubai Digital has introduced “collective art exhibitions and ambitious programs of multi-themed conversations, including conditions in which non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and video and virtual reality (VR) art have grown since the advent of digital art in the 1980s, in addition to the two forerunners in the rapidly expanding arena of digital art in collaboration with an eclectic group of 15 global galleries and platform.”
Dubai’s efforts to understand metaverse
Although Dubai is rapidly expanding into the virtual world, many figures believe the country should first fully understand the concept of “metaverse” deeply to design its strategies and directions to improve its creative economy.
In the Twitter session, the CEO of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, Dr. Saeed Mubarak bin Kharbash touched upon this issue and expressed the need to involve experienced individuals from creative industries in the development of metaverse. He said, “We at the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority have begun to perceive these worlds and keep abreast of their developments since the beginning of this year…”
He believes understanding the idea behind metaverse can help Dubai to make the right decision in favor of its creative economy.
In regards to the internet and modern innovative technology, the CEO of Dubai Blockchain Center, Dr. Marwan Al Zarouni fully understands the concept of the virtual world. In the session, he said, “Metaverse is a natural development of our connected world.”
“We are moving through it from the stage of informatics, finance, buying, and selling with its marketing platforms and the financial stock exchange, to the point that today we have reached the stage of ownership through the use of digital currencies, which will play a stimulating role for a number of axes, including rapid access to capital, and artificial intelligence techniques in light of Metaverse technology.”
This shows that many ministries and organizations are working in their fields of expertise to achieve Dubai’s vision of entering the metaverse and boosting its creative industries together.
The session also discussed the need for incentive legislation in regard to creative industries to ensure a safe and progressive environment. Dr. Marwan Al-Zarouni talked about how legislation for modern technologies can help investors, creators, and buyers in doing business. It is also essential for the overall economic development of Emirates.
Dubai’s plans for the metaverse future
Recently, Dubai held MetaCon 2022 where it invited many NFT and Web3 startups and companies to showcase their projects and celebrate the development of modern technology as a whole. Since this was the first-ever metaverse Web3 conference in the city, it brought a lot of global attention.
In regards to MetaCon 2022, Managing Director of Al-Khaja Group LLC, Abdul Rahman Al Khaja said, “The UAE and Dubai have a significant global reputation and fame in attracting all initiatives and projects related to culture and arts, especially with the presence of a huge and promising market that includes all fields.”
The session also agreed with the aspect that the public needs to be educated about Metaverse and modern technologies for Dubai to advance to the next level.
A digital technology school teacher, Atallah Al-Harbi told the listeners that he has been making efforts to educate students about Metaverse, its concept, and its practical application that can contribute to Dubai’s technological future.
Lastly, Eljaboom, founder of Ajoobz and a consultant in the field of information technology, concluded the session by saying, “There is no doubt that the technology of “Metaverse” will contribute to the emergence of innovative projects and industries in accordance with market dynamics and the expansion of the field of cryptocurrencies.”
The Twitter Spaces was mainly an informative session for listeners around the world to understand that Dubai is collectively making an effort to advance itself into the metaverse and boost its creative economy through it.
One thing to appreciate from this session is that every figure belonging to different industries is working hard to fulfill Dubai’s vision of Metaverse, something which is quite rare in other countries where organizations seem to have divided opinions over blockchain technology, metaverse, and NFTs.
To conclude, Dubai is ready to become the hub of virtual worlds by boosting its creative economy through the metaverse.