Finance has New York. The internet has Silicon Valley. And now the metaverse has Dubai. The largest city in the UAE just announced a jaw-dropping new metaverse strategy that envisions Dubai as one of the leading cities in the world for everything related to crypto, blockchain, online gaming, and non-fungible tokens. By 2030, Dubai hopes to create 40,000 new jobs and attract more than 1,000 companies actively working to create the metaverse. This is huge news for metaverse cryptos and especially for a Layer 1 blockchain like Solana (SOL 1.25%) that has already created a thriving ecosystem around NFTs and blockchain gaming.
After all, it wasn’t some obscure tech guru making the big Dubai metaverse announcement — it was the Crown Prince of Dubai himself. There is going to be some serious money poured into metaverse projects in the near term, given that Dubai expects to add $4 billion to its gross domestic product within five years. This could absolutely be a huge catalyst for any crypto actively involved in the metaverse, and it makes sense that Solana could be one of the biggest beneficiaries for two key reasons: It already has an active presence in the metaverse, and it already has a boots-on-the-ground presence in Dubai.
Solana and the metaverse
Most importantly, Solana has been on a roll of late when it comes to the metaverse. The blockchain has a thriving non-fungible (NFT) token ecosystem and has successfully branched out into NFT gaming with innovations such as “move-to-earn” games. At the same time, developers are building virtual worlds such as Portals and Star Atlas that rival anything being built on the Ethereum blockchain.
The amount of innovation happening right now on the Solana blockchain is staggering. The latest buzz-worthy innovation is the world’s first-ever crypto phone. Solana is at the very forefront of blockchain gaming, and guess where people like to play their games? Yep, right on their phones.
Solana in Dubai
Back in February, Solana hosted a five-day in-person Dubai Hacker House event to entice developers, entrepreneurs, and metaverse engineers to use the Solana blockchain for their future projects. This wasn’t some little get-together at a local coffee shop — this was an event that took place at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. (If you’re having trouble picturing the Burj Khalifa, just Google “Mission Impossible Burj Khalifa”.)
Now just imagine all those people who attended the Dubai Hacker House event in February getting flooded with money, offers, and start-up pitches this summer. Maybe it was just luck, but Solana was in the right place at the right time. As a result, Solana could emerge as the go-to blockchain ecosystem in Dubai for building everything metaverse.
The metaverse: hype or reality?
The only drawback, of course, is that it’s still incredibly difficult to define the “metaverse.” It’s sort of a catch-all phrase to describe “that which shall come after the internet,” but nobody is really sure what it will look like. Some people say metaverse stocks are all about virtual reality and augmented reality. Others say it’s about blockchain gaming and immersive experiences. And, of course, Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook) says it’s all about it. Given all these conflicting views, maybe the Dubai metaverse strategy will turn out to be nothing more than a high-tech fairy tale.
The bird’s eye view from 2,722 feet , though, is that Solana is better positioned than any other Layer 1 blockchain to benefit from the worldwide push into the metaverse. After all, Solana is not just active in Dubai. As recently as June, Solana announced a $100 million pledge to support South Korean crypto, blockchain, and metaverse companies.
So while the U.S. mainstream media might give you the impression that the crypto industry is struggling and that people are just hunkering down to survive a long, dark winter, the reality might be very much different. The new Dubai metaverse strategy is proof that there are literally billions of dollars just waiting to be invested in new start-ups and projects. And if those start-ups and projects are building on top of the Solana blockchain, that could provide an important catalyst for future growth in Solana.
Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Dominic Basulto has positions in Ethereum. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Ethereum, Meta Platforms, Inc., and Solana. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.