DUBAI, 2nd August 2022 (WAM) — The recent launch of Dubai’s Metaverse strategy by Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, positions the city as is a global pioneer offering the world’s most advanced and connected ecosystem where the metaverse community can thrive in a dynamic and nurturing environment.
This decision consolidates Dubai’s status as the world capital of advanced technologies, mainly artificial intelligence (AI) and Web3.
Dubai is now home to over 1,000 metaverse and blockchain companies. As the city attracts new players, the sector’s current contribution of US$500 million to the economy is expected to grow significantly. The Dubai Metaverse strategy aims to support more than 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030 and add $4 billion to Dubai’s economy within five years.
The emirate is making rapid progress in its metaverse strategy, announcing the formation of a Higher Committee for Future Technologies and Digital Economy led by Sheikh Hamdan. The aim of the committee is to consolidate Dubai’s status as a global hub of the digital economy.
The committee will design policies, analyze trends and oversee the implementation of strategies related to the digital economy and future technologies, including Metaverse, AI, Blockchain, Web3, Virtual Reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), Internet of Things (IoT) , data center and cloud computing.
The Dubai-based Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) has formulated a Test-Adapt-Scale model that has proven to be a compelling proposition for businesses in the global economy of the future. The model is a magnet for high-value, technology-driven companies migrating to Dubai. The city aims to become a top 10 metaverse economy and a global pioneer in the adoption of digital solutions, aiming to increase the number of blockchain businesses by five times.
Key players moving to Dubai to participate in the exclusive regime of VARA open to a limited number of licensees include some of the largest and most credible virtual asset exchanges in the world such as Binance, FTX, crypto .com, Coinbase and Bybit. This is in addition to traditional financial icons that offer DeFi (decentralized finance) solutions such as Galaxy Digital, Komainu and Brevan Howard, native crypto service providers and local virtual asset companies such as BitOasis and CoinMENA .
Experts see Web3 as a decentralized and democratized version of Web2, the current iteration of the Internet. Many believe it will include “publicly owned” social media platforms, search engines and marketplaces, replacing the current “company owned” format.
Leading the metaverse in Dubai is the first and only jurisdiction in the world with the vision to implement a dedicated regulator for virtual assets. In March of this year, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Governor of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, approved the Dubai Virtual Assets Act (VAL) and established VARA, which firmly strengthens on the leadership of Dubai in that area. The law provides much-needed investor protection, economic security and market transparency, backed by fully traceable and indelible transaction records.
Managing Director of the Dubai World Trade Center Authority, home of VARA, Helal Al Marri, said: “Virtual assets are changing the financial world and are expected to be the main drivers of the future global economy. . and put the protection of the public first”.
Dubai is a pioneer in many new business sectors of the time such as FinTech and e-commerce. The Economist’s 2022 Digital Cities Index ranks Dubai first in the Middle East and 18th globally. Within the index, Dubai is in the Top 10 for digital finance.
Since its inception, VARA has worked to create a favorable ecosystem and identify a select list of global participants among the hundreds of industry players it attracts.
This has been made possible by partnering with some of the world’s most recognized players such as Chainalysis, Elliptic, AnChain and Coinfirm. Financial services company Fintonia Group, crypto-trading app OKX and digital brokerage GCEX recently announced their launch in Dubai after receiving temporary virtual asset licenses from VARA.
For its part, OKX, joined its global peer-to-peer exchanges to move its regional headquarters to Dubai. At the same time, Fintonia plans to expand its team in Dubai and provide specialized cash and balance management services to Token Foundations, Protocols, Bitcoin miners and other large digital asset holders. , the company said.
Putting the regulatory puzzle together With VARA and VAL, Dubai is now at the forefront of the virtual asset industry and continues to play a key role in its growth, evolution and future regulation.
Part of the political and regulatory puzzle, the Dubai Strategy and Metaverse and the Dubai Blockchain Strategy aim to position Dubai as a global center for emerging technologies. The Dubai Blockchain Strategy is one of many initiatives with 24 blockchain use cases currently being implemented in eight key industry sectors including finance, education and real estate.
The industry has seen an increase in institutional and individual capital. Within digital assets, the crypto market is growing rapidly. The total trade volume will grow to $15.8 trillion in 2021, up 567% from the 2020 total, according to Chainalysis. Research firm Technavio expects the global NFT market size to grow to $147.24 billion between 2021 and 2026 at a CAGR of 35.27%.
With many of the Web3 leaders and future start-ups moving to Dubai, the city also attracts the world’s brightest talent in this field.
The ecosystem of virtual assets in Dubai The emirate is home to three free zones dedicated to the Web3 and crypto ecosystem: the Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC), the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) and the Dubai Multi Commodities (DMCC Crypto).
DMCC’s Executive Chairman and CEO Ahmed bin Sulayem said, “Digital assets play an increasingly important role in DMCC’s mandate to drive commerce across Dubai. Today, it is home to more more than 400 of the UAE crypto companies – more than a third – the DMCC The Crypto Center offers a comprehensive ecosystem to facilitate the development and adoption of crypto and blockchain technologies.
As a relatively new free zone established in 2015, DWTCA’s regulatory and competitive operating environment is designed to facilitate the growth of Dubai’s virtual asset ecosystem. VARA, which is responsible for the licensing and regulation of the virtual asset industry in the mainland and territories of the Dubai Free Zone (excluding DIFC), is linked to the DWTC Authority, which aims to be a dedicated area for regulated virtual assets. business.
The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the DIFC free zone regulator, oversees the regulation of investment tokens, but does not regulate any other type of crypto assets, including cryptocurrencies, virtual assets or digital assets.
Hub for high-potential, forward-looking businesses Dubai’s location as an innovation hub connecting East and West allows it to offer unparalleled access to the fastest growing economies.
A traditional financial center of the world, Dubai is well equipped as a safe and highly controlled channel for billion dollar transactions between East and West.
Dubai now also hosts major industry events such as ETHDubai and Binance Blockchain Week, which saw hundreds of international Web3 entrepreneurs, experts and enthusiasts participate in fireside chats and panel discussions this March. year.
Set at the Museum of the Future in September this year, the Dubai Metaverse Assembly will bring together regional and international experts in Dubai. More than 300 global experts, policy makers, thought leaders and decision makers from more than 40 organizations will explore how Metaverse technology can be deployed in key sectors to create a better future and quality of life for the people.
With Dubai now home to a large community of innovative start-ups shaping the future of finance, it has embarked on a new mission to conquer new economic frontiers. Continued technological advances and infrastructure investment are expected to maintain its status as the Web3 capital of the world.
Translated by: Mervat Mahmoud.