Dubai's metaverse strategy positions city as 'global pioneer' in tech ecosystem

Plan aims to create 40,000 jobs and add $4bn to emirate's economy in the next five years

Dubai is home to more than 1,000 companies in the metaverse and blockchain sectors. Reuters
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Dubai’s metaverse strategy, which aims to create 40,000 jobs and add $4 billion to the emirate's economy in the next five years, has positioned the city as a “global pioneer”, offering the world’s most advanced and connected ecosystem where the community can thrive, a statement issued on Tuesday by the Dubai Government Media Office said.

The initiative aims to strengthen Dubai’s status as a “global capital of advanced technologies” such as artificial intelligence and Web3, it added.

Last week, Dubai formed a higher committee for future technology and digital economy that will design policies, analyse trends and supervise the implementation of strategies related to the digital economy and future technologies, including the metaverse, artificial intelligence, blockchain, Web3, virtual reality, augmented reality, Internet of Things, data centres and cloud computing, the statement said.

To boost virtual assets, the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (Vara), which serves as the single custodial entity mandated to licence and govern the cryptocurrency sector in the emirate, formulated a “test-adapt-scale model” to attract technology-driven firms to Dubai.

Over the past few months, a host of crypto-trading platforms have secured licences to operate in Dubai. These include CoinMena, Bahrain's Sharia-compliant crypto assets trading platform; Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange; BitOasis; Bybit and FTX Europe, among others.

“Virtual assets are transforming the financial world and are set to be the primary drivers of the future global economy,” said Helal Al Marri, director general of Dubai World Trade Centre Authority, which houses Vara.

“Establishing the world’s only independent regulator for virtual assets is symbolic of Dubai’s confidence in the potential of this sector … Dubai is a global leader in adopting and adapting to new technologies.”

Updated: August 02, 2022, 3:56 PM