Leading financial services hub Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has completed its first cohort with 10 regional and global startups under its DIFC Metaverse Accelerator Programme.
The program was done to promote metaverse inclusivity in accordance with Dubai Higher Committee for Future Technology and Digital Economy goals.
Attracting tech innovators from across the world
According to Alarabiya news, DIFC launched their own metaverse platform earlier this year, following Dubai’s metaverse strategy, which is aiming to add around $4 billion to the Dubai GDP. This is also projected to create around 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030, bringing in over 1,000 companies that deal with blockchain and metaverse technology.
The DIFC, which is the leading financial center in the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia (MEASA) region, received over 160 applications from the UAE, UK, India, US, and France for its inaugural Accelerator Program, which focused on metaverse, Web3, AI, AR/VR, and blockchain technologies.
The event was backed by Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC), DP World, and Daoverse Capital and managed to bring in 10 startups to join their 3-month bootcamp.
“Earlier this year, Dubai’s Higher Committee for Future Technology and Digital Economy endorsed the DIFC Metaverse Platform, positioning DIFC as the first government entity globally to champion an integrated Metaverse Hub”, Mohammad Alblooshi, CEO of the DIFC Innovation Hub, said.
“To see the DIFC Metaverse Accelerator Programme come to fruition as part of that initiative with over 160 international applicants, a network of over 60 ecosystem partners, and 10 talented start-ups graduating already is encouraging and will no doubt inspire others to join us as we together embark on our next phase of growth,” he added.
Alblooshi also highlighted the inclusion of 60 DIFC Innovation Hub ecosystems that will be part of the DIFC metaverse platform, seeking to create investment opportunities by developing a community with technical personnel with metaverse skills.
The Metaverse Accelerator Programme ran over a period of six months, during which cohorts were exposed to trainings and workshops to upskill and reskill. The skills training programs were for both technical and interpersonal aspects of the metaverse. In the future, the program seeks to attract over 500 applications and select 50 of the most promising ones.
The graduation of the first cohorts was a culmination of the upcoming entrepreneurs’ exhibition of skills and expertise in innovation before an array of stakeholders like venture capitalists, industry leaders, and angel investors.
Among the graduates of the first cohort who graduated on the program Demo Day were Artichoke Labs, Cognitive Technologies, Daoversal, and DoDocs, among many others that are mainly focused on metaverse, web3, AI/AR, and AI technology.
The initiatives by DIFC are meant to accelerate Dubai’s aspirations of becoming one of the top 10 leaders in the metaverse as well as support the Dubai Economic Agenda D33. This is expected to unlock $27.22 billion from digital transformation annually.
Dubai is not the only one vying for the top spot among countries with the biggest metaverse initiatives. According to XRToday, South Korea, China and the USA have great strategies with regards to this growing sector.