The UAE's strategy in the Metaverse – Lexology

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It is not news that the United Arab Emirates is now the jurisdiction where some of the most interesting initiatives in the development of the fintech sector are gravitating towards. A range of legislative, economic, financial, and organizational initiatives is proliferating to bolster its development, for today and tomorrow.
The UAE is particularly focused on the Metaverse. Last October, an event dedicated to the subject was organized by the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) – ‘Dubai Metaverse Assembly’. The clear aim was to explore how this revolutionary technology can permeate and impact many sectors of vital interest to our societies in the near future. Hundreds of experts, policymakers, international companies, and frontliners of the metaverse community from across the world shared their views. The event was a great success, attracting over 40,000 virtual attendees and triggering information sharing and discussion on all aspects of the industry.
Statements made by official local government bodies leave no doubt as to the UAE clear intention. They are aiming to become the undisputed leaders in this pioneering sector in the next few years. His Excellency (HE) Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications conveyed this in his speech in no uncertain terms.
Many innovations were introduced, including the new Dubai Metaverse Strategy. The plan is to have tourism, real estate, education, retail and government services as the pillars of the development plan. The core idea is to create a real 'digital twin' of Dubai itself to simulate the possible development plans in the virtual world.
This project kicked off this year and aims to bring as many companies as possible specializing in blockchain and metaverse technologies to Dubai. The aim is to make this jurisdiction one of the top ten economies in the metaverse by 2030, creating over 40,000 new jobs and adding over $4 billion to the local economy.
The visionary economic and financial thrust is also manifest in the UAE’s stated intention to measure the country's economic success in the near future using the so-called 'gross metaverse product (GMP)' instead of gross domestic product (GDP). The creation of a 'metaverse office' in the Ministry of Economy, is yet more proof of the intention and commitment of the authorities to this major and game changing project.
Obviously, a lot still needs to be in place for the vision to become a reality. The ball is already rolling on various fronts – to develop standards for the creation of appropriate platforms, technological infrastructures, a coherent and comprehensive regulatory environment, the promotion of talent, and the provision of economic and financial contributions to foster the development of all metaverse-related technologies such as Machine Learning, Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain and Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR).
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