Dubai: The inaugural Dubai Metaverse Assembly will bring together over 300 regional and international experts who will discuss the potential applications of metaverse and its impact on humanity at Dubai Future Museum on September 28 and 29.
Organised by Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, the two-day global event will dive deep on the experiences or key sectors such as aviation, logistics, retail, education and healthcare.
Local and international experts will also talk about the world’s readiness for metaverse and how it can improve services and enhance the quality of human life.
There are pressing questions about the metaverse. Many do not understand how it will progress or how it can change the world. To get a preview of the upcoming Dubai Metaverse Assembly, Gulf News spoke with Hamad Al Shirawi, director of Dubai Metaverse Assembly, who also shared his insights on Dubai’s role in advancing the understanding of metaverse and its applications.
Here are excerpts of the interview with Al Shirawi:
Platform for pioneers and experts
“Dubai Metaverse Assembly is part of DFF’s effort to address latest trends and understand their implications and uses, as well as provide a global platform for dialogues and knowledge exchange focusing on the future of humanity. We aim to facilitate synergy amongst various entities, global organisations and industry experts, to identify the challenges and opportunities that the future holds, to explore its potential, and to develop action plans to address them.
“The event will explore how this revolutionary technology can be deployed across vital sectors to create a better future and quality of life for humanity.
What is the metaverse?
Metaverse is an online, 3D, virtual universe connecting users in almost all aspects of their lives. It connects multiple platforms – like the internet containing different websites – and made accessible through a single portal.
The metaverse is not yet fully in existence but it dubbed as the future iteration of the internet that will allow users – through their avatars – to work, meet, game, and socialise in these 3D virtual spaces.
One can think of online network games where players from around the world play the same game together as a simple example of the metaverse.
“The announcement of the Dubai Metaverse Assembly follows the launch of the Dubai Metaverse Strategy, which aims to strengthen Dubai’s position as a global capital of advances technologies by investing in promising economic opportunities, adopting, and deploying Metaverse technology, and developing digital infrastructure that supports global transformations and the digital economy.
Impact on humanity
“Experts believe that the metaverse could enable humanity to redefine how business is done. This is very exciting. The potential impact of the metaverse extends well beyond business, and humans stand a lot to gain from a social perspective.
“Metaverse can provide a shared environment and economy for everyone, regardless of their location. Humans around the world can become connected like never before.
“Virtually every sector will benefit from metaverse technologies. These technologies will pave the way for smart societies of the future, digital government services, improved research and studies, better consumer experiences, enhanced e-learning tools and specialised training. This is just a handful of areas which can be transformed by the immersive worlds of the metaverse.
“The economic opportunities are similarly significant. Metaverse will provide integrated digital shopping experiences, open new horizons in e-gaming and entertainment, and create promising opportunities for broader uses of blockchain technologies, non-fungible assets and digital assets in general.
What to expect at Dubai Metaverse Assembly
“The assembly’s programme includes three main tracks – Educate, Inspire, and Contribute. The Educate track will consist of in-depth keynotes and panels on metaverse. Inspire track will showcase immersive experiences and Contribute track will include closed workshops.
“Here are a few sneak peeks: Topics will include the future of gaming, the future of nations, the role of government, and building the backbone for Web 3.0 technologies. Speakers will include world-leading experts, futurists, and innovators – individuals from leading organisations such as the World Economic Forum, Meta, Mastercard, Binance, Accenture, SandBox, Polygon and others who are all at the vanguard of this momentous technological revolution.
Role of Dubai in advancing metaverse
“Dubai is well-positioned to discuss the metaverse and create the groundwork for harnessing its full potential. Dubai Metaverse Strategy aims to turn Dubai into one of the world’s top 10 metaverse economies as well as a global hub for the metaverse community.
“The strategy aims to build on Dubai’s achievement of attracting more than 1,000 companies operating in blockchain and the metaverse. It also promotes Dubai’s ambitions to support more than 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030. This will further boost Dubai’s economy and support the UAE government’s vision of increasing the number of blockchain companies five-fold as part of its efforts to create a digital economy.
“The UAE is already home to some 1,000 companies operating in blockchain and metaverse. Dubai is at the heart of this ecosystem and will continue to provide an environment in which companies in this space can thrive.”