Web3.0: UAE emerges as leading industry player as tech groups keen to set up base

More than 7,000 individuals are currently working in the Web3 space, offered by 1,450 active industry players in the country



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by

Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Thu 20 Oct 2022, 2:06 PM

Last updated: Thu 20 Oct 2022, 5:10 PM

While global response to the fastest growing Web3 ecosystem is still shaping up, the UAE has emerged as one of the leading industry players by attracting global talent and tech giants to promote innovation and strengthen its digital economy, experts say.

Referring to the latest report released by Crypto Oasis, they said more than 7,000 individuals are currently working in the Web3 space, offered by 1,450 active industry players in the UAE at the end of the third quarter of 2022. They said the Web3 ecosystem would further strengthen its position in the country as the UAE government is keen to promote digital economy contributions to the GDP from 9.7 per cent to 19.4 per cent in the next 10 years.

"Web3 ecosystem gains popularity in the UAE, and it is going to attract major industry players and create thousands of new jobs in coming months," according to an expert.

Ralf Glabischnig, founder of the Crypto Oasis, said the UAE is supporting forward-thinking organisations such as startups, service providers, and investors, as well as science and research institutions in the Web3 space.

"We have the industry's leading stakeholders like ADGM, DIFC, DMCC, Simmons and Simmons, and State Street featured in the report, which will provide the audience with a deeper insight into industry trends as well as educate and inform the reader of this ever growing and evolving ecosystem," he said.

Global Capital of Web3

Pratik Rawal, managing partner at Ascent Partners, said the UAE in general and Dubai in particular, build up a strong ecosystem for Web3 to attract leading industry players and talent across the globe.

"[Thanks to] its meticulously drafted regulatory framework, Dubai has already positioned itself as the Global Capital of Web 3.0 with its new metaverse and blockchain technology," Rawal told Khaleej Times.

Active blockchain space

The Crypto Oasis report identified active organisations in the blockchain space and classified them into native and non-native categories, according to their dependency on this emerging technology. Native organisations, which only exist because of this technology, account for 65 per cent of the total number identified, and non-native organisations are at 35 per cent, according to the report.

It further said Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) had registered more than 460 native organisations, indicating that more than 50 per cent of all native blockchain organisations are based in Dubai.

"Out of the 7,000+ individuals working in the Web3 industry, approximately 77 per cent work in blockchain native organisations and 23 per cent work in non-native organisations," the report said.

Excellent IT infrastructure

Hatem El Safty, chief executive of Business Link, said the UAE had built an excellent infrastructure for IT sector development that is bound to attract global tech giants and industry players.

"It is due to the country’s dynamic framework and state-of-the-art infrastructure that satisfies the increasing demands of companies that have attracted major names in the Web3 industry. With Dubai leading the way with its various strategies, it is already home to 1,000+ businesses and aims to contribute $4 billion to the city’s economy," El Safty told Khaleej Times.

Furthermore, he said Web3 is in its early development stages and, with a practical and secure system, it would make a significant investment and reap potential stakes. However, he warned that some challenges would remain to promote the Web3 concept in the country.

"Businesses need to understand some rules, especially regarding acquiring a Metaverse or crypto licence, as the virtual space is relatively low," he said.

Steering crypto economy

The Crypto Oasis Ecosystem Report was compiled in partnership with Roland Berger, one of the first top-tier strategy consulting firms to have entered the blockchain world and is steering their global crypto economy advisory out of the UAE.

“We strongly believe in the transition towards a crypto economy and see this reflected in the top C-Level executive agendas. The UAE is accelerating its global position as a crypto and Web3 hub,” said Pierre Samaties, partner and global co-head of the firm's Crypto economy team.

Crypto Oasis catalyses the growth of organisations in the Crypto space and brings together investors, start-ups, corporates, researchers, service providers, and government entities. It aims to advance the digital economy in the Middle East and bring distributed ledger technologies to the mainstream.

“Our role is to curate the Crypto Oasis Ecosystem, and our goal is to bring all stakeholders together on one playing field to assert the region as the leading global player in Web3,” Faisal Zaidi, co-founder and CMO of the Crypto Oasis, said.

Key takeaways:

> Research suggests that more than 7,000 individuals work in organisations in the crypto, blockchain, Metaverse and Web3 ecosystem of the UAE

> There are about 1,450 active industry players in the UAE by the end of the third quarter of 2022

> Native organisations account for 65 per cent (950 organisations) of the total number

> Non-native organisations are 35 per cent (500 organisations) of the total number

> Out of the 7,000+ individuals working in the Web3 industry, approximately 77 per cent work in blockchain native organisations and 23 per cent work in non-native organisations

> The report was created in partnership with Roland Berger, one of the leading strategy consulting companies with a dedicated crypto economy and Web3 team

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