From designing clothes for avatars to being a cyber security officer, the rise of the metaverse is creating unique job opportunities.
Some companies in the UAE are offering salaries of up to Dh30,000 for roles such as traffic managers and game designers.
Metaverse is an immersive 3D world that can be accessed through virtual reality headsets, helping transport users to virtual spaces or replicas of real-life locations.
The technology creates digital worlds where people can interact with each other via avatars.
HR professionals say more job opportunities are being created as companies in the UAE dive into the metaverse.
“The emergence of metaverse has taken us to a world full of possibilities,” said Karuna Agarwal, director of Future Tense HR in the UAE.
“The future generations will have to learn skills that will be needed when the metaverse explodes. Those skills and jobs will see attractive salary packages which will keep them in high demand.
“Jobs like game designers, event planners, product managers, moderators, storytellers and research scientists are about to gain popularity in the next five years.”
While the metaverse sounds like it is just for entertainment, there are also huge investments being made by companies and individuals who hope to make big returns.
Companies are buying advertisement space, building their own worlds and many people are also buying “real estate land”.
As these organisations grow their presence in the metaverse, job opportunities are being created.
Metaverse jobs in UAE
Several companies in the UAE are already advertising job roles related to the metaverse.
An IT company is offering the position of “metaverse security” for a bank.
The University of Sharjah is recruiting an “associate professor in virtual and augmented reality/metaverse and immersive arts”.
One Dubai company is offering the position of a senior backend developer in blockchain, Web3 and the metaverse. The job involves helping the company create products that would be introduced into the metaverse.
Another Dubai company is looking for a metaverse product manager.
“You will be responsible to manage the prototyping, designing, and shipping content on the platform,” the job description says.
“You will work with teams of designers, artists, engineers and gamers.”
Ms Agarwal said that some roles will become more common over time, such as “avatar clothing designer”, which could have a salary of up to Dh20,000.
Metaverse storytellers could earn up to Dh50,000, research scientists can earn salaries ranging from Dh35,000 to Dh55,000 and a metaverse event director can earn up to Dh55,000.
Real estate in metaverse 'could be worth trillions'
Jake El Mir, an entrepreneur in Dubai who owns a tech company that develops mobile applications, said that while metaverse is still in its early phases, he expects that it will see huge growth.
He said the digital real estate market has the potential to be “worth trillions of dollars” once the metaverse reaches later stages of development.
“In the UAE, there has been significant investment in the metaverse because the UAE is known for being a technologically advanced country and they want to be at the forefront of this potential new industry,” he said.
“Additionally, this has created a lot of opportunities for professionals in fields such as 3D design, game development, virtual world building, UI/UX design and AI development.”
Digital twin of Dubai
Last year, Dubai Municipality announced that it would create a digital twin city of Dubai in the metaverse.
The virtual world will offer opportunities for industry and provide residents with an alternative reality to meet people and share ideas, officials said.
Called the One Human Reality, it is an augmented world where avatars can interact online.
Projects like these will create more job opportunities in the metaverse, but once completed, they will also help users meet people all over the world and form business partnerships in both the physical and digital worlds.
Investments in metaverse
While many experts predict the growth of the digital space, there have been reports of a decline in sales of virtual reality headsets in the US.
In December, it was reported that there was a sales decline of 2 per cent year over year, according to CNBC.
Tech research and advisory company CCS Insight said 2023 will continue to be another slow year for VR headset sales due to high inflation affecting consumer budgets.
In the UAE, however, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, approved the new phase of the Dubai Metaverse Strategy that intends to boost the digital economy and introduce measures to empower the use of the metaverse and future technology.
It plans on becoming “one of the leading metaverse economies, and a major hub for the global metaverse community”.
Sheikh Hamdan approved four key strategies aimed at using metaverse technology to provide government services and a comprehensive study aimed at identifying the social benefits of introducing metaverse services that will be submitted to the executive council for approval.
The initiatives aim to build the skills of Emiratis and create a large metaverse community in Dubai that includes metaverse companies, start-ups, investors and users.
They also include strategic projects featuring partnerships with private sector players and events aimed at making the emirate a hub for regional and global metaverse-related events.