Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands Corp. Ltd.’s subsidiary The Sandbox will expand its Hong Kong metaverse strategy to a new market in Dubai by starting a “Dubaiverse,” the company said at the 62nd True Global Ventures Conference on Thursday.
The Dubai-themed metaverse from Animoca Brand will be similar to Sandbox’s Hong Kong “Mega City,” a gaming metaverse and virtual cultural hub based on the Asian financial hub of Hong Kong.
Animoca says that local partnerships will be used to build the Dubaiverse, just like in Hong Kong. As a result, the Hong Kong-based blockchain game specialist will work with companies in the film, music, entertainment, acting, finance, real estate, and gaming industries. Sebastien Borget, cofounder and COO of Sandbox Paris, says that other location-based metaverses are being made for Singapore, Korea, and Turkey.
In a first-of-its-kind partnership in the metaverse, Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) was the first buyer of a piece of real estate on the Dubaiverse virtual map, according to Animoca Brands. “It’s been a key moment, and from there, we’ve been able to attract other major local partners and brands.”
Mehtap Onder, the Managing Director for Dubai at GCEX, said that they will also enter Animoca’s metaverse and teach people about virtual assets in a way that has never been done before.
Khaleej Times will be the local news partner for the Dubaiverse. This is similar to what Hong Kong’s Sandbox did with the South China Morning Post.
Sohail Nawaz, Chief Digital Officer of Khaleej Times, said, “As publishers, business models are being challenged all over the world, and new business models come into this space, it’s a really important strategic move for us.”
The event’s organizer, True Global Ventures, said that it has now invested a total of US$38 million in Animoca Brands. An American investment bank, JPMorgan, has said that the metaverse will become a trillion-dollar industry in the next few years.
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