Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy's metaverse academy receives more than 150 applications

Almost 67% submitted by digital start-ups in UAE, followed by Egypt, India, Jordan, Turkey, the UK and US

Dubai Metaverse Strategy aims to create 40,000 jobs and add $4 billion to the emirate's economy over the next five years. Antonie Robertson / The National
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Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, one of three chambers operating under the umbrella of Dubai Chambers, received 153 applications from 27 countries for its newly launched “Future of the digital economy: business in the metaverse” academy.

Announced last month in collaboration with Dubai-based SEE Institute, the specialised training programme is designed to equip digital start-ups with the practical knowledge and tools they need to build and thrive in the metaverse.

Almost 67 per cent of the applications were submitted by digital companies in the UAE, followed by Egypt, India, Jordan, Turkey, the UK and US. Nearly 30 start-ups will be selected to join the training academy, which will use technology such as virtual, augmented and extended reality to train participants in the metaverse.

“We are encouraged by the strong interest in this initiative, which reflects a growing business interest in the metaverse and confidence in Dubai as a digital economy hub,” said Khalid Al Jarwan, executive director of the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy.

The academy will capitalise on new opportunities emerging from increased digitalisation and the expansion of Fourth Industrial Revolution technology across all business sectors, he added.

The metaverse is the emerging space where people, represented by avatars or three-dimensional representations, 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.

Dubai and other emirates have taken a number of steps to integrate the metaverse into the UAE's economy and society. In July, the emirate's government unveiled the Dubai Metaverse Strategy, which aims to create 40,000 jobs and add $4 billion to the emirate's economy over the next five years.

In May, Dubai's Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority established its Metaverse HQ, making it the first regulator to have a presence there.

Mr Al Jarwan said the benefits of participating in the academy programme went far beyond the training. The selected start-ups will have access to mentorship support in Dubai and free sustainable co-working space, in addition to speaking opportunities at Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy’s biggest events in 2023, he said.

The training academy will run a programme from December 5 to December 14. It will feature four interactive sessions delving into a wide variety of topics such as non-fungible tokens, blockchain and Web3 technology, and how these practices will pave the way for a more sustainable society.

Updated: November 15, 2022, 1:20 PM