Op-ed by Hisham Al Gurg, CEO, Seed Group and the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum
We live in a very volatile world. One that I like to view from the lens of optimism and confidence. Our world is full of the unthinkable thanks to the ever evolving technological landscape. From robots to self-driving cars, in the past few years, we have seen innovations shape the world as we know it. The latest addition to this list is the enigmatic concept of the metaverse.
If you come to understand this concept, it is basically a digital space that allows users to communicate, create, and basically exist in their three-dimensional avatars or digital representations. Such is the power of this tool that it is already being seen as the inevitable future of business and global human interaction. Experts and big tech have gone as far as calling the metaverse the successor to the internet.
I believe that is not a distant reality either, especially in a forward-thinking country like the UAE and an innovation-embracing city like Dubai. After all, the Metaverse is a space where you can exist without physically being present – something that was unheard of and even unthinkable a few decades ago, but then, it was the same when our ancestors were told about TVs and phones.
So, what is expected out of it? Consumer experiences and business models across industries are anticipated to be dramatically transformed by the metaverse, according to experts at the World Economic Forum. The Metaverse offers endless economic opportunities—from treating digital content as an asset to changing the ownership of the same—the new technology holds the potential to practically reshape the traditional value chains and the commerce paths that have existed for decades.
Looking at the magnitude of use and the rate of acceptance of the metaverse, it is natural that authorities and governments should start looking at having it integrated into their fabric to allow scope and opportunity for all that it is about to bring.
Dubai, as a champion of embracing innovations, has already started taking steps towards it. The recent launch of the Dubai Metaverse Strategy is designed to attract more than 1,000 blockchain and metaverse companies to the emirate and support more than 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030.
Launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, the Dubai Metaverse Strategy is a major step in the direction of turning Dubai into one of the world’s top 10 metaverse economies as well as a global hub for the metaverse community.
Investing in Metaverse is perhaps one of the many visionary steps taken by our wise leaders to propel the nation to new heights. However, how far this strategy takes the already soaring growth trajectory of the UAE, remains to be seen.
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