The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has launched its ‘DIFC Metaverse Platform’, in line with the aims of Dubai’s Higher Committee for future technology and digital economy to attract technology innovators from around the world.
The metaverse platform is aligned with the Dubai Metaverse Strategy, which has a target to add $4billion to Dubai’s GDP. The strategy also plans to support 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030 and attract over 1,000 companies specialised in metaverse technologies.
The DIFC Metaverse Platform also supports the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33). D33 aims to generate economic value worth AED100 billion from digital transformation annually, doubling the size of Dubai’s economy across the next decade.
The platform becomes part of a comprehensive strategy being developed by DIFC, the financial centre serving the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA). It ultimately aims to accelerate Dubai’s status as a global metaverse leader.
A new metaverse accelerator programme
The new platform includes three key initiatives. These include an accelerator programme; addressing metaverse policy development and legislation and fostering the development of a metaverse community.
The Metaverse Accelerator Programme includes a dedicated physical studio for metaverse technology. The programme is set to begin accepting applications in February 2022. The programme aims to attract more than 500 applications in the coming years.
November 2022 saw DIFC FinTech Hive, a fintech accelerator in Dubai, host an annual Investor Day on the new metaverse platform. The day offered the region’s finance ecosystem a chance to experience the technology first-hand. DIFC FinTech Hive has also partnered with UAE-based bank Emirates NBD to launch and co-create its own metaverse accelerator. The Emirates NBD programme has already received over 100 global applicants.
The metaverse accelerator programme will run for six months, introducing participating start-ups to training. The programme aims to help start-ups upskill and reskill in all aspects of the metaverse.
The metaverse programme also aims to facilitate partnerships between start-ups and corporates to create proofs-of-concept and new metaverse solutions.
Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC, said: “The Dubai government has shown great foresight in introducing a metaverse strategy that has the objective of making the emirate a global hub for technology and innovation.
“The development of the integrated DIFC Metaverse Platform will accelerate the achievements of Dubai’s aspirations in this sector. The initiative is a natural extension of our Innovation Hub proposition that has shaped the technology and innovation landscape in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region.”