Dubai has set forth a new era of blockchain technology, placing the nation in a position as the Global Capital of Web 3.0 with its new metaverse and blockchain technology and meticulously drafted regulatory framework.
The UAE has become one of the top metaverse economies in the world. And Dubai is a global pioneer in offering the most advanced metaverse and blockchain ecosystem globally with the launch of the Dubai Metaverse Strategy.
Blockchain technology is associated with the world of cryptocurrency, tokenised assets (NFTs), and the metaverse. Blockchain technology is an immutable distributed ledger that facilitates a decentralised, secure record of transactions in digital format.
The metaverse simplifies real-time interaction between people worldwide on a virtual platform. It is a revolutionary evolution of the Internet from the primary stage, Web 1.0 to Web 3.0, where users can interact without intermediaries and have control over their experience on the Internet.
The ubiquity of the metaverse has resulted in it being increasingly used in various fields globally, justifiably so. It has indefinite potential to conduct activities in the digital space and is thus the future of technology. However, the blended experience of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), spatial computing, and sensorial tech has enormous potential to bring the world to our fingertips.
While the metaverse advances to be a booming hub for conducting business activities, it leverages organizations to provide users with an advanced and more efficient platform.
From retail shopping to healthcare and manufacturing, the metaverse is becoming pervasive in countless industries. It is transforming industries by expediting virtual operations seamlessly and offering business opportunities for investors.
The global market size of Metaverse will reach $1.6 trillion by 2030. Moreover, international companies like Meta (Facebook), Microsoft, Google, and Nvidia are just a few organizations with considerable investments in the metaverse. Mubadala, one of the substantial wealth funds globally, is also proactively investing in the blockchain industry.
With the launch of the metaverse strategy, Dubai is hosting over 1,000 companies in the blockchain and metaverse sectors. The sector currently generates around 500 million dollars for the UAE’s national economy and is predicted to increase significantly in the upcoming years.
Dubai Metaverse Strategy plans to target 4 billion dollars of the country’s GDP in the coming five years and will offer over 40,000 virtual jobs in the metaverse and blockchain sectors by 2030. The government of the UAE is now seeking to develop a globally standardized system of building multiple secure platforms for metaverse users, along with a regulated infrastructure to better control and stimulate the inclusion of such advanced technologies.
The popularity of the metaverse is inevitably resulting in more employment in various industries, from project managers, blockchain developers, and tour guides to stylists, developers, and engineers.
The metaverse strategy aligns with the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence — 2021. It aims to integrate the digital system and facilitate an efficient and smooth way of undertaking activities in different industries. The emergence and advancement of the metaverse could contribute to the economy of the UAE. The country incorporates blockchain into the public sector as a fundamental part of innovation.
Metaverse connects with modern technology and resources to be an asset for the healthcare industry. The 3D immersive platform can mitigate the inconvenience of distance and time involved in adapting healthcare services. The Ministry of Health and Prevention has been proactive by launching a blockchain platform to ensure that medical data is secure.
To help protect investments made in virtual assets, such as crypto assets and non-fungible tokens, the Dubai government formed the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). With the establishment of MetaHQ, the VARA has just become the first regulatory body with a legal framework for foreign transactions and provides a safeguard for investors in the virtual asset industry.
Business opportunities in Dubai Metaverse
The Metaverse will permeate every sector, generating more business opportunities for entrepreneurs. The international company, Meta, has opened its headquarters in the country.
With a well-established position in the virtual asset industry, the metaverse has been attracting investors with its potential to transform the business. Dubai has already established business setup regulations in fintech, blockchain, and Web 3.0 that support crypto and digital assets. Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC) is a comprehensive zone dedicated to virtual assets.
The economic opportunities in digital space strengthen the fintech sector in Dubai, currently worth 2.5 billion dollars. The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Innovation Hub is the first ecosystem in the region and already has over 2,400 companies in fintech. And the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) oversees the regulation of investment tokens.
Dubai emerges crypto capital of the world
Dubai is emerging to become the crypto capital of the world, with over 400 businesses operating in the crypto space. Crypto.com, FTX, and Binance are among the leading FinTech and cryptocurrency firms that have already obtained licenses in Dubai.
Virtual real estate is one aspect that significantly owns the metaverse. The metaverse virtual real estate in the UAE has been in strong demand recently, with people investing in virtual real estate and purchasing property in exchange for digital assets and currencies.
With digital expansion, real estate developers can offer real-time data for property trading and leasing on the virtual platform.
The metaverse is the future. Dubai attracts foreign companies to the fast-growing digital asset ecosystem and regulatory supervision, making headway as a global digital economy hub.
Authorities for Metaverse business licences
If you are planning to develop and host a digital virtual platform or environment, you must get a licence under the business activity-metaverse services provider. However, this licence will not permit any issue or exchange of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) or allow trading of crypto commodities.
The following authorities offer metaverse services licence for entrepreneurs in Dubai:
1. Dubai Economy and Tourism (DET)
2. Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA)
3. Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)
4. International Free Zone Authority (IFZA)
Pratik Rawal is managing partner at Ascent Partners, which provides bespoke business setup and advisory services for entrepreneurs looking to set up metaverse venture in Dubai. Views expressed are his own and do not reflect the newspaper’s policy.