UAE based International Financial Centre (DIFC), has launched its “DIFC Metaverse Platform” and the first phase is a metaverse accelerator program where it will choose 50 metaverse projects to help develop the metaverse sector in UAE.

The platform is part of a comprehensive strategy being developed by Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) to accelerate Dubai’s status as a global metaverse leader.

The DIFC Metaverse Platform is aligned with the Dubai Metaverse Strategy, which aims to add $4 billion to Dubai’s GDP, support 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030 and attract 1,000 companies specialized in blockchain and metaverse technologies. The platform also supports the objective of the recently launched Dubai Economic Agenda D33 to generate economic value worth AED100 billion from digital transformation annually.

The Metaverse Accelerator Program, the first initiative to be launched under the umbrella of the platform, will start accepting applications this month. In the coming years, the program seeks to attract more than 500 applications, identify 50 of the most promising graduates from the program and stimulate investment opportunities that will help the sector grow.

The Metaverse Accelerator Program will run over a period of six months, during which the cohort of start-ups will be introduced to training and workshops to upskill and reskill themselves in both technical and intrapersonal aspects of the metaverse. The program also aims to facilitate partnerships between start-ups and corporates to create proofs-of-concept and new metaverse solutions.

The program demonstrates DIFC’s commitment to support innovative metaverse start-ups by introducing them to the region’s largest players. The program also helps them explore partnerships, gain exposure to investors, access a regulatory sandbox and obtain marketing support. 

His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, Chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Higher Committee for Future Technology and Digital Economy, stated that the UAE adopts advanced technologies in its aim to keep pace with global changes, reflecting the directives of its leadership, in transforming the country and Dubai to become a leading hub for utilizing the best technology and developing capabilities.

H.E Al Olama added that this Metaverse platform is the first in a series of initiatives that aim to strengthen Dubai’s position as a global platform for the latest digital trends and accelerate the pace to achieve the objectives of the Dubai Metaverse Strategy.

Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, 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.” 

The DIFC Metaverse Platform includes three key initiatives. The first is an accelerator program with a dedicated physical studio for metaverse technology that will promote the development of a creator community and venture building. The platform will also address the metaverse policy development and legislation on open data, digital identity and company law frameworks in the metaverse. Further, the initiative will foster the development of a metaverse community that will explore ways to enhance the metaverse experience for customers.