World Government Summit 2022: Dubai announces plan to enter metaverse
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World Government Summit 2022: Dubai announces plan to enter metaverse

World Government Summit 2022: Dubai announces plan to enter metaverse

The metaverse could provide nearly $800bn in revenue by 2024

Dubai Municipality will work with private sector companies and investors to create a futuristic, human-centred version of the city that capitalises on opportunities offered by the metaverse.

Dawood Abdul Rahman Al Hajri, Director General of Dubai Municipality, introduced the One Human Reality concept to delegates during a plenary session, entitled ‘Operating Cities of Tomorrow’, held as part of the World Government Summit 2022 (WGS2022), currently taking place at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Read: Dubai: World Government Summit 2022 begins today, aims to shape next global agenda

“One Human Reality is the meeting point or integration between two worlds: the metaverse and the world we are currently living in together,” said Al Hajri.

The metaverse is a virtual reality space where users interact with computer-generated environments and other users. In broader terms, it combines elements across social media, augmented reality, virtual reality, video games, cryptocurrencies, as well as other advanced technologies, official news agency WAM reported. The metaverse could provide nearly $800bn in revenue by 2024, estimated by Bloomberg Intelligence.

“The metaverse today has become closer to reality than we could have imagined,” Al Hajri said. “Residents could be joined by friends in other parts of the world in the form of avatars on a virtual walk through a city park. Similarly, simulated time travel to historic moments, or immersive tours of landmark destinations may be other metaverse applications.”

Such futuristic use cases would require portals in public spaces and city centres, Al Hajri said, adding that governments and cities should invest in building the infrastructure as soon as possible.

Dubai Municipality will launch a programme called One Human Reality Talks, aimed at converging companies and investors to develop the new concept, and will include dialogues with experts, insights, cooperative use cases, and knowledge sharing.

Humans must remain at the centre of this new urban vision, according to Al Hajri, who laid out the elements for a framework based on four pillars: human expectations for their environment, human needs with laws to guarantee privacy, security and ownership rights, and technology functions.

“Cities benefit from integrating big data. With the help of the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence, city leaders will be able to build a digital infrastructure enabling us to access this world in a new way.”

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