The hype and excitement surrounding the potential of the metaverse was felt in the corridors of the Dubai Museum of the Future on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
But there was also a strong message from the 500 or so experts who attended the opening of the Dubai Metaverse Assembly Conference on the brave new world of Web 3.0 – and that was the need to get organized and prepare for what’s to come.
There have been great glimpses into the future, such as the headquarters of the UAE Ministry of Economy where people can hold meetings and even sign legal documents.
Elsewhere on the governmental level, Gabriel Abed, Barbados’ ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, said his country aims to set up an embassy in the Metaverse region.
He said the virtual facility will ensure diplomatic parity, future-proof national services, international coverage, immersive experiences, resource efficiency, and a broader scale.
These high-level services will require responsible actions by users and strict regulation from those hosting them in the metaverse.
“The speed of market change is amazing, but the vision is defined from the top down,” said Keith Jordan, Vice President of Innovation at Mastercard.
Regulators and policy makers can either follow the market or lead the market. One country says 5% of GDP [gross domestic product] It will be driven by the metaverse by 2030… We need to think about what needs to be regulated. We have to look at 5 to 10 years and start building the policy for that.”
Jordan said Dubai is setting the “global standard for regulation” as the emirate this year launched the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority as the central authority for the global virtual asset industry.
“Innovation has to happen in a safe and orderly manner. The next rate of change will be very fast.”
Another important point of discussion was how society would adapt to being within the metaverse and retaining the physical aspects of doing business.
Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ chief operating officer, said the Dubai carrier would ensure it retains its “human touch” while developing its technology offerings in the metaverse for customers.
“We need to maintain that human touch with our customers, but at the same time you’re looking for efficiency,” he said.
“I’m there when you need me – not to stop or slow down the process. Human intervention when required. The metaverse gives us the opportunity to do just that.”
Dubai seeks to boost various sectors through the metaverse, including tourism. It plans to hold metaverse events and form a task force to expand its tourism potential and global outreach.
Education was another sector that was regularly referred to during the compilation.
Amin Al Zarooni, CEO of Dubai-based startup Bedu, provided an example of how youth can, and should, benefit from the metaverse.
He said he did not want his children to attend the same physics classes he did.
“In the metaverse, you can target a much younger age the way it is being taught,” he said.
Schoolchildren can be helped by devices such as the tactile glove, which is set up to be provided by Meta.
This will allow experiences in the metaverse to be physical, such as playing the guitar or moving chess pieces.
Other future technologies the Facebook parent has demonstrated include a new VR headset due out this year, a language tool that will allow people to speak in the metaverse through simultaneous translation, and an AI algorithm that lets people create and import things using voice commands.
Updated: September 29, 2022, 11:23 AM
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