Khaleej Times establishes its virtual foot print in Web3.0

Popular regional brand partners with metaverse platform The Sandbox



KT photo by M. Sajjad
KT photo by M. Sajjad
by

Sandhya D'Mello

Published: Wed 21 Sep 2022, 11:54 PM

Khaleej Times, the region’s most-widely read newspaper, is gearing up for its transition from Web 2.0 to Web3.0, marking a new chapter in the publication’s storied history.

“The team and I are very blessed to be charged with taking our 44-year-old iconic brand into this new decentralised phase of the internet,” said Sohail Nawaz, MBE, chief digital officer of Khaleej Times.

“The Web 3.0 is the biggest wave of digital disruption that brands will have to deal with, as consumers will demand rewards from the brands they connect and engage with in this new phase.”

The popular regional brand has partnered with the metaverse platform The Sandbox, where Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) announced its metaverse headquarters in May 2022.

“We are currently exploring how to create new immersive experiences across a wide range of activities for our audiences with our new metaverse partners and are all really excited about creating these new experiences in Sandbox’s new regional hub ‘Dubaiverse’,” said Nawaz.

“We aim to work and partner with local gaming and crypto communities, education and health providers, Bollywood A-listers and content creators to help us co-design these new experiences,” he added.

The growing Web3.0 environment has immensely increased popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFT) too, as consumers find increased utility when they purchase them. The popularity of NFTs clearly skyrocketed last year and spending through 2022 is on track to reach all-time highs, according to research from Chainalysis, the blockchain data platform. The report found collectors have sent over $37 billion to NFT marketplaces in 2022 as of May 1, putting them on pace to beat the total of $40 billion sent in 2021.

Nawaz shared that Khaleej Times will be launching its own NFT collections very soon, and he and the KT team are working on the benefits that owning a Khaleej Times NFT will provide consumers.

The growing rage among global brands to pursue marketing opportunities in the metaverse has seen consumer-centric industries exploring opportunities in the region, too. Key brands in sectors like aviation, banking, fintech and healthcare have been at the forefront to be early adopters of the disrupting technology.

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