Dubai residents will live, work, play, and socialise in Metaverse in the near future

Government departments are working on deploying technology that will allow consumers to visit departments in Metaverse.


Waheed Abbas

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Sharad Agarwal, chief metaverse officer of Cybergear. — Photos by Neeraj Murli
Sharad Agarwal, chief metaverse officer of Cybergear. — Photos by Neeraj Murli

Published: Sun 3 Jul 2022, 7:04 PM

Last updated: Sun 3 Jul 2022, 10:09 PM

Dubai residents will soon live, work, play and socialise in Metaverse in addition to visiting government departments and completing transactions too, says Sharad Agarwal, chief metaverse officer of Cybergear.

While speaking at the MetaDecrypt Web 3.0 Summit on Sunday, Agarwal said Dubai has always been at the forefront of embracing new technologies.

“We have started getting a lot of inquiries from government departments and ministries to make them Metaverse-enabled. It is just a matter of time before Dubai becomes the crypto and Metaverse hub of the world – not only the region. Initial steps have already been taken, so it is a matter of time before there will be a mandate for all government departments to start the onboarding process,” Agarwal said on the sidelines of the Summit, which is organized by Khaleej Times, the UAE’s first English newspaper.

“There is hard work involved, so you need to decide what services you want to offer and business model and then onboard community just like it exists in the physical world on to Metaverse. So it is a process which takes time,” Agarwal said on the sidelines of the Summit.

Dubai Metaverse Strategy was recently launched to on work on key pillars and objectives with regard Metaverse. The emirate expects Metaverse to contribute $4 billion (Dh14.7 billion) to its economy by 2030.

Recently, Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) established its headquarter in Metaverse, becoming the first regulator to have a presence in the new digital space.

Agarwal further explained that once Dubai and UAE federal ministries introduce Metaverse, residents will be able to visit their offices in Metaverse and do transactions.

Citing an example, he said: “Dubai has a huge real estate market. In the future, people will be able to fly like superman to a community, look at the villas and view the villas and also configure the interior decoration to their liking. Once they’re satisfied, they can pay digitally. It is possible today as some developed countries have taken the lead in this field,” added Agarwal.

In addition, he said it is a matter of time before the UAE residents will be able to pay their bills through Metaverse as well.

Mruga Tipnis, Kimberly Adams, Melanie Mohr and Amna Usman Chaudhry.
Mruga Tipnis, Kimberly Adams, Melanie Mohr and Amna Usman Chaudhry.

Metaverse is for every industry

A number of local, regional and international experts shed light on NFTs, Metaverse and blockchain and also presented in-depth analysis and use cases during the two-day summit.

Jonscott Turco, founder of HumINx and CEO of Deep Learning Labs; Emmanuel Quezada, CEO at U-Topia; Thomas Reemer, founding partner of Space Hero; Teddy Pahagbia (also known as Mr Metaverse), founder and CEO of Druid and other senior industry executives spoke on a diverse range of topics at the Summit.

Estimates show that the Metaverse economy could be between $8 trillion to $13 trillion and five billion people will be in the Metaverse by 2030.

“Metaverse is for every industry on the planet. Metaverse is offering an opportunity to brands to reinvent themselves and also giving a new lease of life to the dying industry. In addition, we see that concerts are also happening in Metaverse,” Agarwal said during the MetaDecrypt Web 3.0 Summit held at the Museum of the Future.

Agarwal added that Metaverse is growing at the speed of thought and there will be a seismic shift in the way companies do business.

“I can feel the tremors already because I am an early starter. Metaverse is not a magic bullet that you establish a presence and you have an RoI (Return on Investment). You need to build Metaverse first and then build a community around it. Firms have to look at RoE – Return on Engagement. Once you achieve that then you’re on track to achieve RoI,” added the chief metaverse officer of Cybergear.

He added that the devices that support Metaverse are expensive but expect their prices to drop as more companies enter this sector.

Agarwal added that 26 years back he found it very hard to convince companies to have their websites and now even individuals have their own websites. Similarly, Metaverse will also see exponential growth in the coming years.

Sohail Nawaz.
Sohail Nawaz.

Sohail Nawaz, chief digital officer at Khaleej Times, said Web 3.0, Blockchain and the Metaverse are all crucially important for the Publishers like Khaleej Times.

“As an extension of our audience channel strategy, the Metaverse will play a key part in ensuring we remain relevant to new and existing audiences whilst helping our clients connect with the same,” said Nawaz at the Summit.


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