The public sector is discovering the potential of the metaverse. The Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has announced Dubai’s Metaverse strategy. In a tweet, he attached the following infographic.
In many ways, it’s no surprise that innovative governments like Dubai’s are beginning to consider the metaverse. Dubai has a history of embracing innovation, having already attracted 1,000 companies to the blockchain and Metaverse space, making it more likely to understand that building the necessary infrastructure and fostering a healthy ecosystem around this emerging industry can be profitable in terms of the city. global economy.
Citi released a report estimating the size of the Metaverse market to be between $8 trillion and $13 trillion, which means that many businesses and jobs may exist in Dubai. Just as the Bay Area has become the physical epicenter of the personal computer and the Internet, Dubai’s leaders want it to become the next center of Internet evolution.
The strategy aims to foster innovation in blockchain and Metaverse technologies, as well as set standards for investors and users. Dubai’s state news agency, WAM, also highlighted its mission to provide training for developers, creators and users wishing to transition to the Metaverse and Web3. This is key to creating the experiences needed to attract users to (and enable them to use) new platforms.
Part of this mission is also to put in place the right regulations to help the creation and adoption of new technologies and services. However, determining which regulations are the right ones has been one of the main debates, especially around cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. If there is too little regulation, investors are in danger – this was the argument made after the LUNA crash in May. If there is too much regulation, the space cannot grow. That’s what most crypto enthusiasts think, which hampers innovation.
In March, Dubai established the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) and passed its first law dealing with such assets. The city has already granted licenses to many major crypto exchanges like Binance and the European branch of FTX. Facing increasingly restrictive regulation by other governments, exchanges and blockchain companies have strong incentives to locate in crypto-friendly places like Dubai. Bybit has announced the upcoming opening of its global headquarters in Dubai. Other space players like Crypto.com have said they will establish a presence in the city.
Integrate Metaverse technology for smart cities
Major companies based in Dubai are starting to integrate Metaverse and blockchain based technologies into their business. Notable examples include the airline Emirates; the business conglomerate Damac Group; the fashion house Roberto Cavalli; and UAE healthcare company Thumbay Group, which plans to launch a “Metaverse hospital” in the fall where patients can see doctors virtually.
The Dubai Museum of the Future hosted the Dubai Metaverse Assembly in September, which brought together more than 300 experts and 40 organizations to discuss the Metaverse and its opportunities. Hamdan bin Mohammed also recently announced the establishment of the Higher Committee for Future Technologies and Digital Economy, which will play a vital role in Dubai’s mission to lead the Metaverse and Web3.
The Government of Dubai has many options for integrating Metaverse technologies beyond simply fostering entrepreneurship and innovation. While the promise of “smart cities” has long remained in the hyped vocabulary of tech enthusiasts, improved AR (augmented reality) hardware could finally bring us closer to smart cities. As AR technology improves, cities like Dubai can integrate immersive experiences into public infrastructure. Facilities such as bus stops and public restrooms can be marked in the user’s field of vision. The government may decide to build a low-resolution digital replica of the city and overlay storefronts, roads and historical monuments with important information or educational content that can explain the history of the monument, for example.
In some ways, public sector officials, especially city officials, can contribute more to the metaverse than big business and national governments. There are many ways immersive technology and blockchain can deliver value to the public and through public infrastructure; they can help shape the regulations necessary for industries to grow. Projects can start small, like adding a QR code to a public art installation that leads to a mobile AR experience, or end up big, like changing the national monetary system from fiat currency to crypto. -change.
Either way, it will be interesting to see what the cities of the future will look like. Dubai is well on its way to realizing this vision.
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