KSA’s Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Developer will drop a limited number of utility NFTs ( Non  fungible tokens) for its Oman AIDA project. The comments were made in an interview with AGBI media.

The $1.6 billion project AIDA, is the largest premium, mixed-use urban developments in Oman. It is a partnership between Dar Al Arkan and the Oman Tourism Development Company (OMRAN Group) to drive the development of the Gulf state’s property market and support the growth of Oman’s real estate sector as part of Oman Vision 2040.

Ziad El Chaar, vice chairman of Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development, said in the interview, “We are dropping 500 NFTs in the middle of October, which are utility tokens for our project AIDA in Oman.  If you are a holder of that NFT, you have a priority in booking in any launch of the project. This has a lot of value.

He added that those who booked in Dar Al Arkan Pagani project in December made 25 percent profit as prices went up.

The NFT will also give holders other advantages in the development, such as priority booking at hotels or at the golf club.

Located in the Yiti area of Muscat, overlooking the Sea of Oman, the project will feature 3,500 residential units of medium-sized villas, townhouses and low-rise apartments, two hotels, a plaza filled with cafes and restaurants, and a gated promenade with luxury retail and other amenities.

The project will be developed in three stages, on an area of 3.5 million square metres, and marks Dar Al Arkan’s first entry into Oman.

El Chaar stressed that while tokens continue to attract hype and sell for large sums, they must have utility. He explained, “Most NFTs [are like] ‘I’m Snoop Dogg [and] I’m launching an NFT’, [or] you have some fashion brands that launched NFTs. Our NFT has a utility and it can be redeemed. And at any time if you say I don’t want this token anymore, you can put it as a down payment on an apartment or a villa. We will redeem it for you for a purchase.”

The NFT (Non Fungible Token) marketplace trading volume is currently at around 4 billion USD per month despite the crypto bearish sentiments. Yet, the NFT segment is still far from saturated or mature, thus promising massive opportunities. Dubai-based OasisX, the first multi chain curated NFT Marketplace and Creator Studio is launching in a few weeks, paving the way for MENA based creators, collectors, and brands to take part in this new digital era. The platform has already on boarded more than 100 artists for its launch in addition to multiple regional brands for web3 activations.

Najib Khanafer, Ramzi Mneimneh, and Jimi Ibrahim decided to take on the challenge of building secure and accessible tools to navigate the NFT and web3 world, bringing meaningful impact to artists, creators, collectors and brands from the region. All three have extensive knowledge in crypto, blockchain and technology and have been early adopters of this disruptive digital trend According to the founders, Web3 is a more trustworthy foundation for achieving financial freedom; and NFTs represent a first, modest step towards solving one of the core problems of Web 2.0: digital applicability and ownership.

LaraontheBlock sat down with the Co-Founder of OasisX Najib Khanafer to learn more about the founders’ story and their unique and innovative platform, predicted to onboard artists, creators and collectors into the realm of NFTs.

What is OasisX?

As the name suggests, an oasis is a fertile ground in the middle of the desert, where water and plants are found. The X in OasisX is for Xploration, and marks the final destination for creators, collectors, and brands to position themselves on the web3 map. OasisX is a world where creativity is unlocked and where everyone can belong and discover their full potential.

NFTs have the right formula for success in MENA. Creative talent, culture, and the rich history of the region coupled with right tech infrastructure and regulatory environment will drive adoption. Khanafer states, “We are building the tech foundation and frontier to bridge the gap between MENA creators and web3, while providing collectors with a new way to support, own and trade in the upside of creativity.”

The broad NFT ecosystem continues to grow and expand, branching out into various new fields that have yet to be explored. At OasisX, users will be exposed to a wide range of categories, including 1/1 art, editions, PFPs, domain names, metaverse objects, music, and many more. To cater to that, OasisX supports the creation of NFTs using different multimedia types such as images, gifs, videos, audio, AR/VR, 3D objects and even documents.

Khanafer states: “We are still just scratching the surface of NFT applications. OasisX aims to support future use cases beyond digital art and collectibles, the obvious being other forms of creative output like utility NFTs and financial contracts (real-world assets). ”

With this in mind, OasisX intends to empower communities by supporting ownership through its inclusive NFT marketplace and Creator Studio, which will unlock new opportunities for artists, creators, brands, and collectors.

NFTs at scale done easy

The current NFT journey is complex, expensive and out of reach for artists, creators and creative teams. The Creator Studio, LaunchX, will securely enable its users to create, manage and mint NFTs at scale, without a single line of code, and at a highly reduced cost.

Khanafer explains, “We created a product that gives creators and brands the opportunity to engage with a tech trend. LaunchX is powered by an AI art generator, a smart contract creator and minting page editor, preserving true creative ownership.”

The user-friendly platform removes the barriers to entry for anyone who wants to tokenize their IP, while reducing the go-to-market and NFT deployment time from months to minutes. In short, LaunchX will enable NFT project creation in a few clicks.

Community empowering NFT Marketplace

As for the Marketplace, it allows users to list and shop NFTs on multiple chains including Ethereum, Polygon and Solana, while offering simple on boarding, non-crypto checkout options, and many other power tools such as bulk creation. Additionally, in its efforts to serve the MENA region, OasisX supports Arabic language on the platform.

Building the Oasis

After raising its pre-Seed round led by angel investors; the company is now looking to raise an additional 3 million USD in a new funding round. A majority of the funding will go into scaling the team, product and brand.

OasisX founders envision a future where the company will continue to exploit the potential of this technology, cementing it as a web3 powerhouse from the MENA region.

While Emirates Airlines was the first to speak about the launch of NFTs, metaverse and so forth, and Qatar airlines followed with its own metaverse initiative with talk about NFTs to be included, it was Etihad Airline who actually will be launching its own NFT collection on Polygon in July 2022.

Under the name EY-ZERO1, UAE Etihad airlines will be launching the utility-driven NFT series features of ten highly detailed 3D aircraft models, each one showcasing a unique Etihad Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner livery. The NFT Collection will encompass a total of 2003 limited edition collectibles, symbolizing the year when Etihad Airways was established. The NFT Collection will go on sale at 6pm UAE time on 21st of July. The collectibles include Etihad’s Manchester City FC and Greenliner-themed aircraft, among others.

“We’re excited to launch our first NFT collection, EY-ZERO1, which not only offers collectors, aviation enthusiasts and travelers a unique work of art, but provides real-world travel and lifestyle benefits with Etihad Airways. NFTs and other metaverse technologies are revolutionizing the digital economy, and we are proud to be one of the first airlines in the world to explore their potential to provide additional utility for our customers” , said Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group.

Purchasing an NFT will give owners immediate Etihad Guest Silver tier membership for one year, with 10 lucky NFT holders winning complimentary flight tickets with Etihad. NFT owners will also be given advance access to upcoming NFT collections as well as future metaverse products which the airline has planned as part of its Web3 strategy.

To celebrate the new collection, Etihad will be giving away 20 NFTs to people who pre-register on etihad.com/zero1 by 16 July. Each NFT will be priced at US$349 plus tax on etihad.arcube.io, and the sale will close on 18 August at 6pm UAE time.

The NFTs will also be available to purchase through the Etihad Guest Reward Shop, meaning the airline’s 7 million loyalty program members can redeem their Etihad Guest Miles to acquire an NFT.

EY-ZERO1 is set to be minted on Polygon blockchain, and Etihad Airways will be partnering with Aerial.is to track the CO2 emissions of the NFTs. In addition to offsetting the entire carbon footprint of the project, the airline will allocate all proceeds from the collection to purchase sustainable aviation fuel in 2022.

“As well as recognizing the artistic value of our aircraft liveries, our NFT collection has been designed to be as efficient as possible and support our wider sustainability and decarbonization efforts at Etihad Airways,” said  Douglas.