Sharjah gets the world’s first government-backed metaverse city

Sharjah gets the world’s first government-backed metaverse city

Anything is possible in Sharjah, the world’s first government-backed metaverse city

  • Sharjahverse is the world’s first publicly available, government-backed metaverse city
  • The Sharjahverse gives locals the opportunity to work at Sharjah’s famous landmarks, in the metaverse

Imagine having the ability to interact with individuals who live in a different city — but not via social media, a phone conversation, or a video call — rather, through the metaverse. Well, it’s definitely doable now.

The metaverse is the next step in internet development that aims to blend real-world and virtual experiences. Some see it as a virtual version of the real world that exists online. Others see it as a change in how people can engage with their environment through the use of technologies like blockchain, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR), to mention a few.

The digital versions of some of the world’s most well-known brands has already been put to use in numerous instances, such as Gucci’s art installation in Roblox to increase brand awareness, Coca-Cola’s introduction of NFT collections featuring its recognizable brand callbacks, and even Hyundai’s metaverse initiative to introduce the thrill of driving and the brand’s advocacy for sustainable transformation.

These virtualized worlds have been evolving for some time now, and there will be lots of opportunities to explore within these universes. And as the technology advances, city leaders will have a fascinating chance to influence how the metaverse is developed.

Guess what? Sharjah, the third-biggest emirate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its largest metropolis and its most family-friendly destination, has got its very own city in the metaverse – and it looks so realistic to boot.

Sharjah city is in the metaverse

Sharjahverse, a new generation of metaverse tourism for the Emirate of Sharjah, has been introduced by Multiverse Labs in collaboration with the Sharjah Commerce & Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA). Sharjahverse, built on the Multiverse Labs platform, is an important turning point because it is the first real city-scale metaverse, with practical economic and social applications.

The 2,590 square kilometer (1,000 square mile) Sharjahverse project not only promotes the emirate to a wider audience and strengthens the local tourism industry, but it also gives locals the opportunity to work at Sharjah’s famous landmarks in the metaverse. It is a photorealistic, physically accurate metaverse that encourages the emirate to be a top travel destination by opening up scaled-down trade, innovation, and creativity.

A new way of thinking is necessary, according to Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourist Development Authority (SCTDA), to turn the mass market tourism sector into next-generation, sustainable practices.

“Virtual tourism in Sharjahverse will provide unprecedented access to almost any location, personalized guest experiences and enhanced entertainment. Multiverse’s groundbreaking and AI-driven approach will help push the limits of imagination and promote Sharjah as a destination of excellence,” he added.

The realism of Sharjah’s metaverse

The platform of Multiverse, according to Chairman Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Director Sheikh Salim Mohammed Al Qassimi, and the marketing division at SCTDA, is so realistic that it is used globally for simulations, services, and AI optimization in addition to being used for recreation. It incorporates player-owned creations, social interactions, and avatars created from real-world portraits that are absent from other digital twin platforms.

“That’s why we call Multiverse the first true metaverse; it’s far more than just land or a game. We look forward to unveiling the use cases we have been developing with partners in the coming months. It’s enabled by our advanced generative AI and incredible team,” they said. “We recently joined the NVIDIA Inception program and we used NVIDIA RTX™ technology for our projects. The creation of something on the scale of Sharjahverse just a year ago would have been impossible.”

It is quite amazing to see what technology is capable of now, especially as more and more of our daily activities are taking place online. The metaverse is expanding, and given how photoreal Sharjah City is recreated, it undoubtedly calls for significant computational resources and financial investment. Although useful, this transition to the metaverse alters how we interact with the city and compels us to re-evaluate our objectives for the city.

Right now, visitors at GITEX 2022 can experience Sharjahverse first-hand, and design their own lifelike avatar on the first and second floors of the Digital Sharjah booth.