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Dubai unveils plans to become a global metaverse powerhouse

Dubai is set on boosting its investments in the metaverse as Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum disclosed an ambitious metaverse strategy this week. In the process, the emirate aims to add $4 billion to its GDP within five years.

Dubai to spearhead metaverse innovation

In a tweet posted on July 18, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed announced Dubai was looking at becoming one of the world’s top 10 metaverse economies. “The early adoption of metaverse technology,” he said, will solidify the emirate’s position as a hub pioneering “the most advanced metaverse ecosystem” on the globe.

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Details on the plans are yet to be divulged. However, the pillars of the strategy comprise “developing metaverse applications” within the Dubai government and “cultivating metaverse talent through education.” Additionally, the emirate intends to “foster economic contribution” by creating 40,000 jobs and shall attract a variety of digital experts, from VR engineers to 3D graphics designers and NFT experts. In March 2021, the UAE already introduced a remote working visa scheme to appeal to qualified foreign nationals.

The emirate’s metaverse strategy also falls in line with the UAE government’s vision of achieving a five-fold growth of all blockchain companies operating domestically. While Dubai currently hosts over 1,000 companies in the blockchain sector, the boost would contribute $500 million to the national economy.

Incidentally, Dubai sets on capitalizing on a burgeoning, lucrative ecosystem. By 2030, analysts such as McKinsey expect metaverse spending to add up to $5 trillion globally. A Gartner report predicted a quarter of all consumers would use the metaverse daily by 2027. The most successful metaverse platforms have already garnered a substantial audience, peaking at 55 million active users on Roblox and 300,000 daily users on The Sandbox. Even giant corporations like Disney are exploring the endless possibilities of the metaverse.

Dubai asserts its status as a leading tech hub

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Known for its bold feats of architecture, Dubai has often been referred to as the city of the future. And the emirate has long shown a strong interest in technological advances. Ranking number one in foreign direct investments to the AI and robotics sectors, the city also fosters a thriving ecosystem for start-up incubators.

The government of Dubai even pioneered a Blockchain Strategy as early as 2020, implementing 24 Blockchain use-cases across industry sectors ranging from finance to real estate and education. In March of this year, the emirate further cemented its support toward the crypto industry with the creation of the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). Major players like Binance responded favourably and increased their activity in the world’s leading crypto hub.

A city of innovation, Dubai also paved the way for entertainment technology. A ground-breaking International Conference on Entertainment Technology is scheduled for 2023. And the emirate keeps on attracting pro-gamers in the prospect of the Global Esports Games in 2025, as the gaming market throughout the Middle East is expected to shoot up thanks to the growing penetration of online gaming.

Dubai has not jumped on the iGaming train, though, because of local restrictions on gambling. The iGaming industry remains a frontrunner in technological progress nonetheless, from VR casino sessions to Bitcoin-friendly platforms. Market evaluators even forecast internet gambling might soar past $100 billion by 2028 thanks to enhanced graphics and metaverse initiatives, alongside lucrative bonuses.

To draw newcomers, many online casinos reward users with sign-up promotions like free spins. No deposit free spins are a great incentive for punters to try out any website they’d like without putting money on the table. Gamblers can also benefit from free spins deposit offers, which often include extra match bonuses. Once they’ve claimed their rewards, gamesters are just a click away from hundreds of classic slots and inventive games with a VR twist.

The digital ecosystem is fast-moving, thus, and the metaverse is only beginning. Similarly to Dubai, several polities like China and Catalonia have started building their metaverse. Still, the leading tech hub in the Middle East might be one step ahead. Following his metaverse announcement, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed the Museum of the Future would hold a Metaverse Assembly in September 2022. Dubai, therefore, embraces the unlimited potential of the metaverse head-on.

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