AB UAE Forum: Possibilities ‘endless’ for how metaverse could impact the UAE, experts agree

The UAE’s leadership has “really opened doors” for the industry to flourish, attracting both talent and investor
Arabian Business
July 30, 2022

The emergence of Web 3 and the metaverse will have “endless” possibilities of how it could impact industries and communities in the UAE, experts told the Arabian Business UAE Forum on Tuesday.

According to David Zennie, chief executive officer of Disruptive, the metaverse could allow us to create new worlds and redefine how business is done – a major pivot from the “transactional” nature of Web 2, or the internet as we know it now.

“Web 2 is flat, it’s transactional, it’s producer-consumer. Web 3 is immersive and it’s changing that dynamic to a multi-stakeholder situation,” Zennie explained, adding the metaverse will “allow for an exciting new world to exist and a new way of doing business.”

Since Web 3 has proven to be industry-agnostic, Shadman Sakib, founder and chief executive officer of Vurse, an AI-powered short video platform, demonstrated how the metaverse is used in many different sectors – from fashion to education.

He emphasised the use of data in creating “more immersive” customer experiences, whether in retail, tourism or in schools. He explained how the more we “commercialise the space,” the better we can capture more user elements.

Innovators are getting better at advancing the mainstream adoption of Web 3 and the metaverse, Sakib implied, talking about how a better consolidation of software and hardware knowledge, currently most visible within the gaming industry.

Both experts agree that technology leaders are going to play a crucial role in how the metaverse could be widely used.

UAE as a hub for the industry

They also highlighted how the UAE has grown in potential in becoming a hub for both talent and innovation in the metaverse space.

Vurse’s Sakib said recruiting in Dubai was particularly easy because of the flexible environment it gave for employees – particularly those who are not easily enticed by money, but by the prospects of work-life balance.

“In this industry we are creating, we have to bring in people from all over the world who are the best of the best, and these people you can’t motivate them with money. The way to motivate them is through your vision, financial security, and most importantly a place where they can both work and be entertained,” Sakib explained, adding “Dubai has it all.”

For Zennie, the UAE’s leadership has “really opened doors” for the industry to flourish, attracting both talent and investors.

“As long as the regulatory framework and leadership continue to support the industry, I don’t see any limits,” the Disruptive CEO said, referring to how the UAE has become one of the early policy adopters when it comes to blockchain technology.