UAE Leads Metaverse Adoption, Poised To Contribute $16bn Annually By 2035 - Smart Zones® UAE
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UAE Leads Metaverse Adoption, Poised To Contribute $16bn Annually By 2035

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is rapidly establishing itself as a global leader in virtual tourism, leveraging cutting-edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and hyper-personalized experiences. This innovative approach is expected to capture a significant portion of the projected $3.26 billion global market for metaverse-enabled tourism by 2025.

Fueled by rising demand for remote and sustainable travel experiences, the UAE’s virtual tourism landscape is experiencing a dynamic shift. New players, both international and domestic, are entering the market, attracted by the segment’s thriving potential. This influx is expected to reshape the virtual tourism landscape within the country.

Currently, established players like Matterport, Dubai360, and 360 Emirates offer engaging packages like the “Louvre Virtual Tour in Abu Dhabi” and the “Dubai360” interactive experience. These experiences allow users to virtually explore iconic landmarks like the Palm Jumeirah and the Burj Al Arab from anywhere in the world.

Beyond inspiration and trip planning, virtual tourism serves as a valuable tool for leisure and entertainment. It is projected to significantly contribute to the UAE’s ambitious goal of generating $125 billion (AED450 billion) in tourism revenue by 2031.

Industry experts like Samuel Huber, CEO of LandVault, a leading virtual experience developer with operations in Dubai, predict a major expansion in the market. “The global virtual tourism market is expected to reach $6.5 billion by 2030, and the UAE is poised to capture a significant portion due to its leadership in implementing virtual tourism experiences,” he states.

LandVault itself is actively investing in the region, building digital twins for real estate companies and collaborating with local governments on undisclosed projects. Huber emphasizes the potential benefits of virtual tourism for the UAE’s tourism sector, including increased GDP contribution and attracting wider tourist demographics.

Beyond “try before you buy” experiences, virtual tourism serves as a valuable planning tool, enhancing the overall travel experience and contributing to the sector’s long-term growth. Factors like technological advancements, the desire for remote experiences, and sustainable travel trends are driving the sector’s expansion.

According to Huber, “The metaverse could bring a benefit of up to $16.7 billion per year to the UAE, while contributing up to $50 billion in additional GDP to the Middle East and North Africa region by 2035.”

The UAE’s tourism sector is also witnessing a surge in AI adoption for trip planning, with 60% of travelers expecting AI assistance compared to the global average of 48%. Additionally, demand for hyper-personalized experiences is rising, leading to companies like Miral developing facial recognition technology for seamless entry and contactless payments in their theme parks.

With its strategic investments, innovative approach, and focus on personalized experiences, the UAE is poised to solidify its position as a global leader in virtual tourism, attracting new players and reaping significant economic benefits in the years to come.

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Publish 20 Feb 2024


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