Seoul, Dubai, Santa Monica named among metaverse leaders in WEF report

The metaverse sector, although slowly, is showing signs of growth and adoption in different parts of the world. Citing a report by technology intelligence firm ABI Research, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said that about 700 cities will have some form of metaverse infrastructure by the year 2030. However, so far, South Korea’s Seoul, UAE’s Dubai, and US’s Santa Monica have been named in the report as leading cities in the international metaverse region.

Listing the benefits of cities exploring the metaverse, the WEF said that this virtual world ecosystem brings cost savings related to the design, operation and maintenance of urban infrastructure, as well if the city population becomes adapted to the technology. So it also helps the city leaders to gain ‘political capital’.

“As cities seek to decarbonize, digital twin technologies can help enhance urban design through simulation, planning, and optimization,” Report highlights,

In the US, Santa Monica is the first city to give users information about the city through a metaverse-enabled social media app called Flick.

“FlickPlay encourages people to walk to real locations to find rare digital tokens, which can be collected and then used to unlock videos with rare filters that you can show to your friends . “By moving people to less visited parts of cities, FlickPlay could also create new economic activity while reducing crime,” it explained.

Dubai is seeing the metaverse as an essential part of its economic development drive, which is expected to rank among the world’s top cities in terms of GDP. To strengthen its position in the region, Dubai wants to attract 1,000 companies working in the blockchain and metaverse sectors. Over the next seven years, Dubai aims to be home to more than 40,000 Web3 professionals. According to WEF research, more than 50 percent of consumers in Dubai look forward to creating and monetizing content in the metaverse. report Said. While 60 percent of consumers see the metaverse as a business opportunity, 78 percent of brands want to engage more with the Web3.

“Dubai will develop Web3 technology and its applications to enhance new ways of working in tourism, education, retail, healthcare and remote working. How will the city achieve this? “Fostering talent and investment by fostering innovation, enhancing research and development, and helping developers, content creators, and digital platform users access education on all things metaverse,” the report said.

As far as Seoul is concerned, the development of the metaverse in South Korea is fully supported by the government there. The Asian country has already pledged $180 million (about Rs 1,500 crore) for the development of a national metaverse ecosystem. The first phase of Metaverse Seoul lets residents download the world’s first urban Metaverse app and use it to play games, experience the city’s attractions, and complete mundane tasks.

The WEF report claims, “Metaverse Seoul phase two will bring more services beyond 2024 including connecting local industries with foreign investors, while the final phase will integrate virtual and augmented reality technology into the daily functioning of the city’s infrastructure. ” ,

Metaverse technology gained momentum when Mark Zuckerberg rebranded Facebook to Meta in September 2021. Despite back-to-back losses at his metaverse-dedicated unit, Zuckerberg has maintained his confidence in this branch of emerging technology.

According to StatistaIt was estimated that the global metaverse market was worth $65.5 billion (approximately Rs 5,44,035 crore) in 2022. This year, the market is expected to grow to $82 billion (approximately Rs 6,81,082 crore) before rising. $936.6 billion (about Rs 77,79,526 crore) by 2030.

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