Metapolis' Sandra Helou on how the metaverse is revolutionising industries
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Metapolis’ Sandra Helou on how the metaverse is revolutionising industries

Metapolis’ Sandra Helou on how the metaverse is revolutionising industries

The co-founder and CCO says that the creator economy will see a lot of individuals start to collaborate with brands and their community

Divsha Bhat

Tell us about Metapolis. How do you help businesses commercialise their metaverse presence?
Metapolis is the worlds first metaverse as a service (MaaS) platform with a proprietary built product line focused on the metaverse with interoperability and safety and security at heart. This makes it easier for clients not having to worry about all the tech when entering the space.

Metapolis is able to integrate into any third party provider and blockchain layer meaning that our deployed metaverses are interoperable with one identity and assets held through one interoperable wallet for ownership and usage. This also promotes higher engagement as there are no secluded environments for the masses to have to get familiar with such as new wallet downloads, NFT movement from world to world and setting up new avatars.

Initially what we do is we work with our clients on their metaverse strategy and the use cases that apply to their business model along with how the metaverse will become part of their ongoing business operations and across both internal teams and external community building and engagement, then we move towards the design and aesthetic of the metaverse and its architecture, once this is finalised we deploy and it is up to our clients to go to market when they are ready to start their metaverse presence.

Elaborate on the growth of Web3, metaverse and blockchain in the region. Share some recent trends.
According to various analysts the current worth of the metaverse is around $40-65bn and expected to reach $13tn by 2023.

If we look at the Middle East and the buying and spending power found within the region, then we already know that crypto adoption is relatively high at 48 per cent and market penetration of the metaverse and NFTs through ownership and users is around 26 per cent with more interest being shown for adoption, thanks to favourable regulations and funding provided for innovators and Web3 businesses.

Saudi Arabia is home to 23.5m gamers who are easy conversion into the metaverse and NFT space with proper use cases and strategies being implemented by brands.

Recent trends which have been mainly discussed have been around AI technology. However, I believe that IoT will be a main pillar in brining the true value and connectivity of the metaverse to life through connecting physical and digital worlds, along with wearable technology being at the forefront of real-time connectivity and feedback. Industries such as fashion will need to explore the role of wearable tech and NFC tags for innovation and transparency.

How is metaverse transforming industries in the Middle East? What opportunities does it provide for businesses?
The metaverse currently is still at the early stage of adoption and use case testing for it to be having a transformative impact. More focus needs to be put on the strategic approach that is applied and the use cases built for the brand and industry. The opportunity lies in our ability to localise and build a metaverse that resembles our cultures and traditions and localising content for the consumers to allow for mass adoption to take place.

The metaverse itself will not be a standalone product rather one that can show multiple engagement models and experiences, allows for incentivisation and community building in an immersive environment and manner and thanks to personalisation it will adapt to an individual’s wants and needs to enjoy their metaverse journey.

Opportunities will also lie in the job sector as there will be a need for skills to build and innovate and work with startups in the region and the upskilling of experience to adapt to the in demand wants and needs such as 3D modellers and developers.

The creator economy will see a lot of individuals start to collaborate with brands and their community in a new reward and incentive focused models and the creativity we have in the region will make its way to NFTs whether through art NFTs or assets and product design to populate the metaverse. We have already seen luxury industry within the Middle East playing a big role in adoption of the technology and being one of the main key drivers in testing and experimenting.

Is metaverse ready to deal with the challenges of security? What kind of regulations are needed to make it a safer place?
There are many layers to security within the metaverse. First there needs to be the rules and regulations that are applied and governed by the governments on data handling and storage, privacy policy, ethics etcetera.

Then there will be security across the platform of choice and how it handles and operates in terms of terms of use and along with digital identity security and inner world safety and security, for example at Metapolis we have applied safety bubbles, anti abuse and anti ecrime features, robust reporting mechanisms.

For Avatars KYC (know your customer) will be important for safety within the metaverse as one known digital identity is crucial when looking at prevent things such as grooming, harassment, bullying.

Read: Metaverse developer LandVault expands to Dubai

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