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Dubai to host its first metaverse industry event in September
The inaugural Dubai Metaverse Assembly was announced by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, and will be held on September 28 and 29 at the Museum of the Future and Emirates Towers, the Dubai Media Office said in a statement on Tuesday.
The assembly will draw more than 300 experts, policymakers and officials, as well as 40 organisations involved in the metaverse. It will also host more than 100 workshops.
“The metaverse is a promising digital world. We aim to harness this technology to enhance the quality of life in the UAE and across the globe,” Sheikh Hamdan said. “We want Dubai to lead globally in adopting the technology of the future, understanding its developments, harnessing its potential and driving change.”
Sheikh Hamdan‘s announcement comes a day after the unveiling of the Dubai Metaverse Strategy, which aims to create 40,000 jobs and add $4 billion to the emirate’s economy in the next five years.
The initiative is the “next revolution in the technological and economic field that will affect all aspects of life over the next two decades”, Sheikh Hamdan said on Monday.
The metaverse is where people, represented by avatars or three-dimensional likenesses, can interact in virtual worlds. It is part of Web3, the next evolutionary step of the internet, with blockchain, decentralisation, openness and greater user utility among its core components.
The UAE has taken a number of major steps to integrate the metaverse and its related technology, including cryptocurrencies, into the economy, government and society. In May, Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (Vara) — which was established under the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulation Law, the first such law in the emirate — said it had established its Metaverse HQ, making it the first regulator to have a presence there.
The value of the global metaverse market is forecast to hit about $5 trillion by 2030, according to a report in June from McKinsey & Company.
Sheikh Hamdan said the assembly “embodies the vision” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, has for the emirate to become a “global hub for innovation and futuristic transformations and a key driver for digital and knowledge-based economies around the world”, the statement said.
The assembly will introduce reports, strategies and action plans that outline the way forward for maximising the impact of the metaverse on society in the real and virtual worlds.
It will also feature real metaverse experiences in key sectors — including tourism, logistics, retail, education and health care — and an “unprecedented” experience of hosting official meetings in the digital space, the statement said.
Dubai is set to “harness this promising digital world to be the fastest city to adopt its applications and embrace its potential”, Sheikh Hamdan said in a tweet.