Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island is set to launch a metaverse in the first quarter of 2023, according to Arabian Business.
The project will be led by real estate developer and investment firm Aldar Properties, the source said, adding that Yas Island’s new metaverse will allow users to buy property in the always-on virtual space.
The announcement comes as the UAE grows as a hub for Web3 technologies. The metaverse is one facet of Web3, and is set to offer new virtual worlds and experiences for users. In Dubai alone authorities have already drawn up plans to massively increase the metaverse’s contribution to economy, up to $4 billion by 2030.
Real estate in the metaverse has attracted significant investor attention, with virtual real estate being sold in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Real estate properties in metaverse can be used for a wide range of purposes including party gatherings, NFT shows or even concerts.
Beyond real estate, metaverse technology has been pointed to as the future for other industries. In education, the metaverse and virtual reality technology could dramatically evolve teaching processes and methods, while in fashion, digital-only clothing is already on sale, with some influencers spending thousands of dollars on virtual reality clothing.
Yas Island is a tourist destination project under development in Abu Dhabi, and is already home to several attractions including Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld, and the Yas Marina circuit – home of the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
In August, Aldar launched the $313 million Yas Park Gate project, a residential development including 508 new homes over 255,000 sqm. Earlier this year, real estate developer Miral also announced it would be bringing SeaWorld to Yas Island.