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Emirates enters the Metaverse in earnest

The Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority becomes the first official regulator in this virtual world with objectives framed around the digitisation of the nation
Dubai's Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) has announced its entry into the metaverse with the establishment of its headquarters in the dynamic virtual world of "The Sandbox".

REUTERS/CARLOS BERRIA  -   Dubai's Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) has announced its entry into the metaverse with the establishment of its headquarters in the dynamic virtual world of "The Sandbox".

The United Arab Emirates is making history in the virtual world. The Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) debuts as the first state entity to be established in the Metaverse. This makes the institution the first regulator in this virtual universe and with it a headquarters called "The Sandbox" has been established. 

VARA, with this debut, has several objectives to position Emirates in this market. In doing so, it aims to ensure that the regulator is accessible to its industry in its environment and thus facilitate services and collaborative engagement with other institutions. These include global Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs), Industry Thought Leaders and some of the international Regulatory Authorities.

With this introduction, the Authority has established a new operational framework that is secure and progressive for the development of the virtual asset sector. This is intended to ensure that over time and for the foreseeable future, the market and investors in the Metaverse will be protected. It will also regulate the guiding principles of the services and activities offered by this online world through technological evolution. 

The government of Dubai has been one of the main supporters of this idea. The city's administration has expressed its confidence in the institution to make virtual assets a stop to the future digital economy. In turn, this measure aims to establish the Emirate as the virtual asset capital of the world. 

"Dubai maintains a leading position at the forefront of technological transformation. We have moved beyond the role of early adopters to become innovators and participants in shaping the future of this technology," said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Rashid bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai's Executive Council. He was also present at the ceremony where VARA's MetaHQ was unveiled at the Sandbox.

El jeque Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, príncipe heredero de Dubái y presidente del Consejo Ejecutivo de Dubái, dijo: "Dubái mantiene una posición de liderazgo en la vanguardia de la transformación tecnológica”
PHOTO/WAM - Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Rashid bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai's Executive Council, said: "Dubai maintains a leading position at the forefront of technological transformation".

"Today VARA joins the Metaverse to become the first global government authority, bringing a new era in which the Government of Dubai uses modern innovations to extend its services and regulatory power to audiences in an open technological expanse, without limitations or borders," continued the Crown Prince.

VARA represents a major commitment to consolidate this technological sector in the Emirati market. Its promotion aims to create new investment opportunities and the market will be regulated to ensure its proper functioning. It also marks an important step by the city's administration to adapt to the world of the future.

"Our presence in the Metaverse therefore marks the beginning of a new phase in the Dubai government's move into the future, a phase that will have a long-term positive impact," added Al-Maktoum.

Parcelas virtuales en The Sandbox, una plataforma que permite a los usuarios construir un mundo virtual utilizando fichas no fungibles (NFT), se ven en esta foto de ilustración tomada el 25 de marzo de 2022
REUTERS/FLORENCE LO - Virtual plots on The Sandbox, a platform that allows users to build a virtual world using non-fungible tokens (NFTs), are seen in this illustration photo taken March 25, 2022.

The regularisation of this sector will be based on secure cross-border interoperability, informed investor adoption, prioritisation of market protection and responsible industry participation. Furthermore, entry into this Metaverse will allow the introduction of economic freedom based on the private sector and ICT innovators. It will also allow younger graduates to enter the field with the aim of increasing consumer experience and knowledge.

"VARA's acquisition of land in the Sandbox is a symbol of our belief in this sector, and it is incumbent on us as Government to be the bridge that allows investors and consumers to safely adopt, and scale the economy in a collaborative way. In addition to producing a direct economic benefit and GDP acceleration for Dubai, VARA sees this as the first step towards shared learning and developing expertise across global regulators, so that the international community can benefit from a virtual economy that has been allowed to scale in a safe and sustainable way," commented Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority.