The Dubai Metaverse Strategy, launched on Monday, aims to attract more than 1,000 blockchain and metaverse companies to the city as well as support more than 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030, according to an announcement published on the UAE official news agency WAM.
"This would further boost Dubai’s economy and support the UAE government’s vision of increasing the number of blockchain companies by five times the present number," the announcement said.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, crown prince of Dubai and chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, unveiled the metaverse strategy. It was designed in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai.
The metaverse is expected to drive the UAE’s efforts to "provide innovative solutions, positively impact people’s lives, and transform the city into one of the smartest hubs worldwide offering new economic opportunities," according to Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, UAE minister of state for artificial intelligence and digital economy.
According to the announcement, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), which facilitate the metaverse, are currently responsible for 6,700 jobs in the UAE, contributing around $500 million to the country's economy.
A 2020 PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report said that VR and AR technology could add $4 billion to the UAE economy by 2030.
UAE is the latest jurisdiction to make a big metaverse play. In July, Chinese city Shanghai laid out its own strategy to build a metaverse economy worth 350 billion yuan (US$52 billion) by the end of 2025