Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, approved the new phase of the Dubai Metaverse Strategy that intends to boost the digital economy and introduce measures to empower the use of the metaverse and future technology.

The new phase of the strategy was approved at the first meeting of the Higher Committee of Future Technology Development and Digital Economy on Thursday, Dubai Government Media Office said.

Sheikh Hamdan said Dubai was set to become one of the world’s top digital economies and a leading platform for innovations that can shape the future.

The metaverse is the emerging space where people, represented by avatars or three-dimensional representations, can interact in virtual worlds. It is part of Web3, the next evolutionary step of the internet, with blockchain, decentralisation, openness and greater user utility among its core components.

Dubai and other emirates have taken a number of steps to integrate the metaverse into the UAE’s economy and society. In July, the emirate’s government unveiled the Dubai Metaverse Strategy, which aims to create 40,000 virtual jobs and add $4 billion to the emirate’s economy over the next five years.

In May, Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority established its Metaverse HQ, making it the first regulator to have a presence there.

Sheikh Hamdan approved four key strategies aimed at using metaverse technology to provide government services and a comprehensive study aimed at identifying the social benefits of introducing metaverse services that will be submitted to the executive council for approval.

The initiatives aim to build the skills of Emiratis and create a large metaverse community in Dubai that includes metaverse companies, start-ups, investors and users. They also include strategic projects featuring partnerships with private sector players and events aimed at making the emirate a hub for regional and global metaverse-related events.

During the meeting, the committee also discussed plans to implement the Dubai Metaverse Strategy and the 100-day plan to co-ordinate the work of government entities and facilitate their contributions to the development of the digital economy.

Through the committee, the government seeks to develop a new model for the development of technology and futuristic sciences with a special focus on digital technologies. It aims to keep metaverse as part of its broader strategy to promote digital growth and innovation, and achieve the goals of the Dubai Metaverse Strategy, Sheikh Hamdan said

Dubai is moving fast towards achieving its metaverse goals.

Earlier this month, the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy — one of three chambers operating under the umbrella of Dubai Chambers — said it had received 153 applications from 27 countries for its newly launched “Future of the digital economy: business in the metaverse” academy.

Announced last month in collaboration with Dubai-based SEE Institute, the specialised training programme is designed to equip digital start-ups with the practical knowledge and tools they need to build and thrive in the metaverse.