Dubai wants to become a world leader in the metaverse

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The UAE tech hub aims to dramatically increase its investment in the metaverse and in the process add $4 billion to its GDP over a five-year period.

The Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced in a tweet earlier this week that his government had launched a “metaverse strategy” aimed at making Dubai one of the top 10 metaverse economies in the world. . The news comes at a time when a number of other polities – including China and the Spanish region of Catalonia – have unveiled similar plans to become major sources of development and investment in the burgeoning metaverse.

Dubai will aim to increase the number of metaverse and blockchain companies within its borders fivefold, as well as add 40,000 jobs and $4 billion to its economy over the next five years. (Dubai is currently home to over 1,000 metaverse and blockchain companies, which the tweet says cumulatively contribute around $500 million to the city’s economy.)

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Dubai, known for its growing tech scene, aims to become one of the best metaverse economies in the world. (Credit: Adobe Stock)

In order to achieve these lofty goals, the Government of Dubai has stated that it will pursue a number of strategies, including “[fostering] metaverse innovation and economic contribution”, [cultivating] metaverses talent through education and training” and “[developing] use cases and metaverse applications in Dubai government.

This isn’t the first time the government of Dubai – a city known for its ultra-modern skyscrapers and thriving tech scene – has shown a keen interest in blockchain technologies. In March, the city established its Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), designed in part to license crypto firms to operate in the emirate of Dubai. The government’s favorable stance towards crypto quickly attracted some of the biggest players in the industry, including Crypto.com, FTX, and Binance.

Dubai is not alone in its efforts to become a global metaverse leader. Catalonia – an autonomous region in the northeast of Spain – is building what it calls the “Cataverse”, a virtual space inspired by Catalan culture and intended to boost the region’s reputation in the Web3 space. Shanghai, the commercial hub of China, earlier this month unveiled plans to set up a fund, worth around $15 billion, dedicated to developing the metaverse. The news from Shanghai is part of a broader Chinese push to accelerate and expand the growth of the country’s metaverse architecture.

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