Dubai virtual assets regulator enters metaverse with Sandbox HQ

DUBAI: Dubai’s virtual assets regulator said Tuesday that it was entering the metaverse and establishing a new headquarters on platform The Sandbox, state news agency WAM reported. The announcement makes Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) the “world’s first regulator to make its debut in the metaverse”, according to WAM.

The move reflects Dubai’s “confidence in virtual assets being integral to the future digital economy, and its readiness to establish the emirate as the world’s virtual assets capital”, the news agency added.

The metaverse, touted by Meta and other companies as the future of the internet, consists of a set of parallel “universes” accessed primarily through augmented and virtual reality platforms.

Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed was quoted by WAM as saying the emirate was “ushering in a new era” in which the Dubai government “utilizes modern innovations to extend its services and regulatory power to audiences in an open technological expanse”.

The authority was established in March under the emirate’s first law to regulate virtual assets. Meta, which changed its name from Facebook last year, has invested heavily in the metaverse, a 3D virtual world that will see people interact through avatars.
In November, Barbados announced that it would establish the world’s first diplomatic embassy in the metaverse. –AFP

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