Dubai and the UAE are taking a leap into the future, leading the way in terms of shaping a new reality with Web 3.0.

A few years ago, most people hadn’t even heard of the term NFT, and they definitely weren’t something that people in the VR space were focusing on. 2021 was a landmark year for NFTs and blockchain technology as the Covid-19 pandemic meant that people were at home more. Suddenly, NFTs found their moment to shine. The insane profits people started making led to a rapid boom. While digital art and collectibles such as digital trading cards formed the initial wave, virtual land from projects like The Sandbox, Decentraland and Somnium Space soon became seen as an asset class with longer-term appeal.

By using blockchain technology, people are able to own a part of the metaverse, with the land plots being sold as NFTs alongside other virtual assets like avatar skins and clothing. You buy a plot of land in The Sandbox — then you can build whatever you like on it with the help of a skilled developer. And because it’s held on chain, that asset is yours forever unless you opt to sell it. Many of these platforms also have their own currency that can be bought, sold, and even earned as cryptocurrency tokens. In time, the logic is that these tokens create a thriving economy within these worlds. Ultimately “the metaverse” is held up as the pinnacle of what is possible with VR and, as such, the visceral sense of presence that it affords users is pivotal. For many, their idea of the metaverse has been shaped by films like The Matrix or the world of Ernie Cline’s Ready Player One.

How is Dubai trying to create a virtual city in the metaverse?

One Human Reality is a digital twin of Dubai inside a virtual world. It’s interesting because in other countries, we are starting to see companies and universities looking more rigorously into the idea of building a persistent digital twin, yet Dubai is planning a digital twin of the entire emirate, it seems! The UAE always likes to go big though and be at the forefront of innovation. The fact is that every company in every industry will ultimately find their place in the metaverse and whilst. For instance, a shipping company would always need to operate in the real world, they will still evolve to incorporate meetings inside virtual spaces, avail of marketing opportunities inside the metaverse, and explore new ways to engage and interact both internally and with new and existing customers.

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