Dubai forms task force to track digital economy

The move is expected to cement the emirate's status as a key city in the metaverse

Dubai aims to increase the contribution of the metaverse sector to its economy to $4 billion by 2030. Reuters
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Dubai is setting up a task force to track the digital economy and oversee the technological developments in the emirate.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, and Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, issued directives to form the task force, the Dubai Media Office said in a statement on Thursday.

The move is part of the directives issued by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, during the previous meeting of the Dubai Council. Sheikh Mohammed had directed the formation of a higher committee to supervise technological developments in the emirate and oversee developments in the digital economy.

The initiative aims to enhance Dubai’s status as the “best city in the virtual space thanks to innovative services and its advanced regulatory and legislative framework”.

Sheikh Hamdan said the formation of the higher committee reflected the far-sighted vision of the leadership and it will cement Dubai’s status as a key city in the metaverse.

“The move will help us fully understand reality and explore unique ideas that will shape a brighter future for Dubai and the UAE, maximising future business opportunities.”

Dubai's latest move comes as the UAE aims to double the contribution of the digital economy to its gross domestic product from 9.7 per cent to 19.4 per cent within the next 10 years.

The emirate plans to become a key player in the virtual world and is also developing a regulatory and legislative framework for the sector.

Sheikh Hamdan said that Dubai's committee had started work on achieving the key objectives of the Dubai Metaverse Strategy, which aims to increase the contribution of the metaverse sector to Dubai’s economy to $4 billion by 2030 and increase its contribution to the emirate's economy to 1 per cent.

The committee aims to implement metaverse technologies that can help improve the performance of resident surgeons by 230 per cent and increase the productivity of engineers by 30 per cent, in addition to supporting 42,000 jobs to become virtual.

It is currently working on identifying opportunities and challenges and continuing the development of the legislative framework that covers future requirements of all sectors.

The metaverse is the emerging digital space in which people, represented by avatars or three-dimensional likenesses, can interact in virtual worlds. It is part of Web3, which is being touted as the next iteration of the World Wide Web, with blockchain, decentralisation, openness and greater user utility among its core components.

Business revenues from the metaverse are projected to reach $400bn by 2025 from $180bn, according to a report by Grayscale Research.

Earlier this month, Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority said it had entered the metaverse with the establishment of its Metaverse HQ, making it the first regulator to have a presence in the emerging digital space.

Expanding Vara’s resources to a borderless audience is part of Dubai’s strategy to create a prototype decentralised regulator model. It also aims to make it accessible to government, industries and other authorities and virtual asset service providers to help shape the future digital economy.

Vara's MetaHQ will utilise The Sandbox gaming platform, the Ethereum blockchain-based application backed by Japanese investment conglomerate SoftBank, which allows users to create, sell and purchase digital assets.

Updated: May 19, 2022, 5:56 PM