Getting married to taking job interviews: 7 Dubai things you could do in the metaverse

The emirate is betting big on the metaverse, with a dedicated strategy aiming to support 40,000 virtual jobs and add $4 billion to its economy in five years

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Sahim Salim

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Published: Wed 15 Feb 2023, 12:17 PM

Last updated: Wed 15 Feb 2023, 9:53 PM

Yet another historic announcement was made in Dubai on Tuesday, strengthening the Emirate’s foothold in the metaverse. Majid Al Futtaim will bring alive Dubai’s renowned shopping experience in the digital world with its Mall of the Metaverse.

Inside the mall, customers' avatars will find Carrefour, VOX Cinemas, THAT Concept Store, Ghawali and Samsung Store, "with many more brands and exciting features in the pipeline."

Dubai is betting big on the metaverse, with a dedicated strategy aiming to support 40,000 virtual jobs and add $4 billion to its economy in five years.

Several experiences have been announced in the virtual world out of Dubai. Here are seven of them:

1. A wedding to remember

A UAE-based couple got married in the metaverse chapel of love in May last year. Avatars of the bride and groom walked down the virtual aisle as the digital versions of their friends cheered and clapped. There was even a virtual gatecrasher who added to the fun.

2. Jet off to Mars and live there without leaving Earth

Surrounded by the red Hajar mountains, Hatta is the launchpad for missions to Mars in the Everdome, a hyper-realistic metaverse. Everdome’s first rocket to the Red Planet blasted off in November last year. In January, the company announced its Jezero Spaceport as the next step in the creation of an “immersive space travel adventure which includes an exclusive Martian civilisation experience”.

3. Visit the Dubai Frame without leaving your home

In December last year, Dubai-based MetaEssence demonstrated the digital twin of the Dubai Frame. Virtual avatars can check out the different areas of the building and walk on the glass walkway on top. It offers virtual 360-degree views of old and new Dubai that the landmark is famous for.

4. Let avatars take your job interviews

Earlier this month, the UAE's Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) announced the launch of a metaverse programme for specialists and consultants to take exams and interviews remotely. Healthcare professionals can take the exams while being in their own country.

A Dubai-based recruitment firm had also announced it was building a Metaverse Training Academy, which will help organisations hire the best talent.

5. Fix your utility issues digitally

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) became the first local government organisation to launch its platform on the metaverse in October last year. The ‘DEWAVerse’ platform includes customer service, work meeting rooms and safety training units, among others.

6. Ministry of Economy HQ is now online!

The UAE’s Ministry of Economy announced its headquarters in the metaverse in September last year. It offers an immersive experience for governments, global corporations and the public to connect and collaborate, the ministry had said. Officials from the ministry can sign bilateral agreements with other nations in the virtual world.

7. Consult doctors

The Emirates Health Services, Thumbay Group and Medcare Hospitals & Medical Centres have all announced forays into the metaverse. Services range from medical tourism initiatives to giving an idea of the services on offer at physical hospitals.

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