Giving a major fillip to its digital economy and grand plans of becoming a global hub for new-age technologies, the UAE recently launched its “Dubai Metaverse Strategy.” The plan is to tap into the ever-expanding digital space to add $4 billion to Dubai’s economy in the next five years and help create 40,000 virtual jobs.
The Benefits for SMEs
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups, especially technology companies, stand to gain as the metaverse strategy is relying heavily on the private sector to position the Emirate among the top 10 cities in the world that will shape the future with cutting-edge technologies. There are currently 1,000 companies in Dubai working in the metaverse, which contribute $500 million to the national economy.
Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed recently tweeted, “the initiative aims to double the number of blockchain companies and the metaverse by five times.” The UAE’s official news agency, WAM, said, “the strategy emphasizes fostering talent and investing in future capabilities by providing the necessary support in metaverse education aimed at developers, content creators, and users of digital platforms in the metaverse community.”
Avenues and Opportunities
New business opportunities are bound to be created in the digital space as the metaverse strategy supports the development of Web3 technology and its applications to create new governmental work models and development in vital industries, including tourism, education, retail, remote work, healthcare, and the legal sector. The strategy also aims to develop global standards in building safe and secure platforms for users and develop a robust metaverse infrastructure and regulations to accelerate the adoption of these technologies.
As the economic contribution of the metaverse goes up in the region, the Emirate will witness a phenomenal growth of accelerators and incubators to attract more companies and projects to Dubai. The strategy’s key pillars focus on extended reality (which blends the physical and virtual worlds), augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), mixed reality, and digital twins.
VR and AR are responsible for 6,700 jobs and a $500 million contribution to the UAE’s economy. This figure is going to significantly improve in the future as companies involved with real-time data, machine learning, IoT, and AI simulation provide innovative solutions to positively impact people’s lives and expedite the adoption of metaverse to drive digital transformation across the UAE.
According to Canada-based Precedence Research, the global metaverse market size is projected to be worth around $1,607.12 billion by 2030, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 50.74% from 2022 to 2030. To make the most of this projection, the UAE is working on improving industrial competitiveness, productivity, and efficiency and creating new digital avenues for the private sector to help the nation move away from its over-reliance on hydrocarbons.
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