The Yas Island Metaverse: Abu Dhabi tourist destination is recreated in virtual world

Users will be able to purchase digital homes, discover cultural attractions and visit theme parks

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld or Warner Bros can now be experienced virtually in the Metaverse. Photo: Yas Island
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Yas Island has been recreated in the metaverse as part of the first phase of replicating Abu Dhabi in the virtual world.

The initiative, involving the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, Aldar, Miral, twofour54, Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management, Flash Entertainment and Yas Island, will give visitors virtual access to the many attractions on the island.

The Yas Island Metaverse will allow users to build and purchase digital homes, discover cultural attractions, enjoy theme park adventures, special events, premier golf courses, and the Yas Marina racing circuit.

"As the emirate’s offerings evolve, this project provides a new and compelling perspective which allows the world to discover Abu Dhabi in their own time and space," said Saood Al Hosani, undersecretary at DCT Abu Dhabi.

"The innovative, interactive platform is perfect for highlighting the exceptional lifestyle, cultural and entertainment experiences that Abu Dhabi presents to all visitors and will give both virtual residents and travellers the power to curate their own unique Abu Dhabi itinerary – within a whole new sphere of reality.”

The project is currently in the development phase, DCT Abu Dhabi said.

It added that the island is being recreated using "multiple world-leading metaverse platforms, including The Sandbox and Roblox, and is powered by Super League Gaming".

It will be operational and fully available to digital visitors once completed in the first quarter of 2023.

Organisations across the UAE are expanding their involvement with the metaverse, in line with the nation's digital push.

The UAE Ministry of Economy last month unveiled its new headquarters in the metaverse, where it will provide its full portfolio of services to more users in the virtual world.

In June, Ajman Police set up a metaverse platform that allows users to interact with officers.

And in May, Dubai's Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority entered the metaverse with the establishment of its Metaverse HQ, making it the first regulator to have a presence there.

It announced at last month's Dubai Metaverse Assembly that Dubai is considering plans to implement a new economic output metric - "gross metaverse product" - to measure the contribution of the metaverse to its economy.

What is the metaverse?

The metaverse is where people, represented by avatars or three-dimensional likenesses, can interact in virtual worlds.

It is part of Web3, the next evolutionary step of the internet, with blockchain, decentralisation, openness and greater user utility among its core components.

The value of the global metaverse market is forecast to exceed $1.6 trillion by 2030 at a compound annual growth rate of more than 50 per cent, from an estimated $40 billion in 2021, Canada-based Precedence Research said.

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Updated: October 21, 2022, 2:11 PM
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